The Seahawks Tuesday announced the promotion of running back Mike Davis from the practice squad to round out their now-depleted running back group. While 710 ESPN Seattle’s Gee Scott and John Clayton doubt Davis will get the bulk of the carries over veteran back Thomas Rawls or J.D. McKissic against Atlanta on Monday night, he’ll have a chance to make a real impact and push for a starting job that is still very much up for grabs.
Scott called the move great news for the Seahawks.
“I’ve been waiting for this and here’s why: I already know what I’ve been getting week after week after week,” Scott said. “Eddie Lacy on his back, Thomas Rawls underachieving, and C.J. Prosise just not that healthy. So with that being said, with Mike Davis getting his opportunity, hopefully he can save the run game this season.”
Seattle currently ranks 22nd in the league in rushing yards per game (100.7), 30th in rushing touchdowns (two) and has just 906 yards on the ground on the season. A closer look at those stats reveals a problematic – if unsurprising – find: the biggest single contributor is quarterback Russell Wilson, who accounts for one third of that total (290). The leading rusher after Wilson is rookie running back Chris Carson, who landed on the injured reserve after Week 4.
The Seahawks have managed a prolific passing game in the meantime. Wilson ranks second in the league behind Tom Brady in passing yards, while tight end Jimmy Graham has six touchdowns on the season, tying his 2016 total. Leaning too heavily into the pass game, though, can mean more interceptions and can make things problematic for a banged-up secondary.
Seattle needed to sign a running back regardless given that Prosise would be out for six weeks with a high ankle sprain, but the hope is that Davis can replicate the productivity he had during the preseason. Through those four contests, he recorded 104 yards on 24 attempts, and five receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown.
“Mike has really been one of our favorites all the way back to camp,” head coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday following the roster move. “He had a really good offseason and a really good camp with us and good preseason. He has been in the league running a little bit last year for the Niners. He can catch the football. He has contributed on special teams for us, so we see a little bit of a well-roundness in him and he is real competitive. He is real hungry to go. He has been with us all year so the transition is seamless and we are looking forward to see what he brings.”
“They needed to find a way to get Mike Davis into the mix,” Clayton said.
In Clayton’s eye-test, Davis was a better fit in Seattle’s offense than second-year Alex Collins, who found success later with Baltimore.
“What I liked about Mike Davis: he’s low to the ground, he kind of hits the hole quickly and he’s a guy that is shifty in his moves. Is he going to be the savior? No. But, I think he can help; I think he can at least get in there.”
Scott agreed, and added that the running game is Seattle’s most pressing issue moving forward – and one that, if it doesn’t improve, can keep Seattle from the ultimate goal.
“If this run game does not get fixed, there is no Super Bowl, period.”