Three players to watch in Seahawks-Chargers preseason contest
With so many new faces on this year’s Seahawks, there are plenty of position groups to keep an eye on. However, like last week, Seattle’s starters will again have limited playing time against the Chargers.
Here are a few players who have a chance to have some significant playing time – and capture the intrigue of fans –Saturday night:
RB C.J. Prosise
Running back C.J. Prosise was a late scratch in Seattle’s preseason opener to the Indianapolis Colts on Aug. 9. The last-minute injury news didn’t help to alleviate the biggest critique facing his young career so far: durability concerns.
The Seahawks drafted Prosise, 24, in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Since then, he’s appeared in 11 of a possible 32 regular season games. He’s been sidelined with a broken bone in his hand (an injury he suffered in his rookie debut), a fractured scapula (which ended his rookie season in Week 11), a groin injury that caused to miss time in the 2017 preseason, and an ankle injury that landed him on the injured reserve list in November 2017.
When healthy, Prosise can be a talented, versatile halfback in Seattle’s offense with gains both on the ground and through the air. In a Week 3 game against the Saints in 2016, Prosise had 23 yards on four carries and another 80 yards on four catches. He had 76 yards and a touchdown on four carries in a Week 9 win over the Eagles (his last appearance that year). His most productive game last year was in a Week 3 loss to the Titans, where he recorded 65 yards on three receptions.
Saturday, Prosise has a chance to re-establish himself in Seattle’s running back corps. All five running backs had playing time in Seattle’s loss to the Colts. With rookie Rashaad Penny (finger) out, Prosise could see even more snaps against the Chargers.
Does he need one hundred yards and a touchdown? No. But staying on the field and getting a solid number of snaps can help Prosise take a step forward in his development, and help showcase the unique skillset that made the Seahawks select him 90th-overall two years ago.
LB Shaquem Griffin
Griffin led both the Seahawks and the Colts in tackles last Thursday (9). Despite that, Seattle’s rookie linebacker said there were plenty of mistakes he’d like to correct.
“When I was watching film, it was a time for me to be like, ‘Okay, I did what coach told me so now how can I better myself for the upcoming week?,” he told reporters Sunday.
Like the preseason opener, starters won’t be expected to play more than a few snaps until next week (when they typically play to the half), meaning Griffin will get his shot at a few quarters of action. It’s an important developmental time as Seattle looks to build experience for its younger pass rushers (with that in mind, also keep an eye on linebacker/defensive end Jacob Martin and defensive lineman Rasheem Green).
SS Delano Hill
Seattle entered the offseason looking at a pair of second-year safeties to step up and fill in for departed veterans (or, in Earl Thomas’ case, a player in the midst of a holdout). By swapping veteran Bradley McDougald between free and strong safety, the team could examine Delano Hill at strong safety and Tedric Thompson at free safety.
For now, Thompson appears to have won out and will likely join the starters Saturday (with McDougald starting at strong safety). But depth is key for a secondary that once housed several Pro Bowl talents. Hill still has a chance to not just make a big impact on special teams, but to make his case for more playing time at strong safety.
Hill played a large number of snaps Aug. 9, and will be a constant on the field Saturday. He showed promise last week when (despite being called back) he stripped and recovered the ball from a Colts’ returner.
• Wide receivers Tyler Lockett, Amara Darboh and Doug Baldwin will not play Saturday. Baldwin is expected to miss the remainder of the preseason with a knee injury. Lockett (toe) was injured in practice Tuesday.
• CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring/groin) was able to return to practice this week but will be a game-day decision for Saturday. If he’s unable to play, Dontae Johnson or rookie CB Tre Flowers could see playing time with the first-team defense. Flowers started at right cornerback last week.
• The Seahawks announced a few roster moves Friday. The team terminated the contract of LB/DE Marcus Smith, waived CB Elijah Battle, and signed LB Erik Walden and RB Justin Stockton.