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Seahawks snap counts vs. Cowboys: DeShawn Shead remains at nickelback — but for how long?

DeShawn Shead took over at nickelback for the Seahawks last month once a broken thumb and subsequent surgery sidelined Marcus Burley. He remained there Sunday against Dallas – playing 32 of Seattle’s 59 defensive snaps – even though Burley was active for the first time since he was injured midway through the Seahawks’ Week-4 win over Detroit.

How long Shead will keep the job is a question as the Seahawks enter their bye week then begin the second half of the season.

Jeremy Lane is expected to begin practicing next week as he nears his return from the broken wrist and torn ACL he sustained in the Super Bowl. He could in theory play in Seattle’s first game back from its bye, which is Nov. 15 against Arizona, but in all likelihood the Seahawks would want to give him at least two weeks of practice. That was the case with wide receiver Paul Richardson, who, like Lane, also began the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

The assumption is that the nickelback job will be Lane’s whenever he’s ready to play, but Seattle will at least have options, including Shead.

“He’s doing a good job,” Carroll said Monday. “He’s been a big, active part of it. He’s a good tackler. He’s a good blitzer. So he’s doing a good job. The fact that Jeremy comes back, he’s going to have some competition there. Jeremy’s been a really good nickel player for us in the past, so we’ll just see how that plays out.”

And then there’s Burley, who played well enough – especially in Week 2 against Green Bay – to merit consideration. He will presumably be a more viable option once he’s no longer encumbered by the cast he’s been wearing on his right hand following his injury.

Here are the rest of the snap counts from Seattle’s win over Dallas along with a few notes:

DEFENSE (56 total)

Defensive backs

Richard Sherman: 59 (100%)
Cary Williams: 59 (100%)
Kam Chancellor: 59 (100%)
Earl Thomas: 59 (100%)
DeShawn Shead: 32 (54%)

Burley played 14 special-teams plays but none on defense.


Bobby Wagner: 59 (100%)
K.J. Wright: 56 (95%)
Bruce Irvin: 46 (78%)
Kevin Pierre-Louis: 3 (5%)

Pierre-Louis’ three plays came while Wright was briefly sidelined.

Defensive linemen

Michael Bennett: 49 (83%)
Ahtyba Rubin: 40 (68%)
Cliff Avril: 37 (63%)
Brandon Mebane: 36 (61%)
Jordan Hill: 22 (37%)
Frank Clark: 22 (37%)
Demarcus Dobbs: 7 (12%)
Cassius Marsh: 4 (7%)

Marsh made the most of his limited playing time with a tackle for loss and another stop.

OFFENSE (65 total)

Running backs

Marshawn Lynch: 49 (79%)
Will Tukuafu: 19 (31%)
Thomas Rawls: 11 (18%)
Fred Jackson: 3 (5%)
Derrick Coleman: 1 (2%)

Coleman returned from a two-game absence but Tukuafu remained Seattle’s fullback.

Wide receivers

Doug Baldwin: 47 (76%)
Jermaine Kearse: 44 (71%)
Tyler Lockett: 30 (48%)
Chris Matthews: 16 (26%)
Ricardo Lockette: 9 (15%)

The playing-time distribution among Seattle’s receivers has been fairly consistent, but it will change to some degree now that Paul Richardson is back and Lockette is out for the remainder of the season.

Tight ends

Jimmy Graham: 53 (85%)
Luke Willson: 28 (45%)

No. 3 tight end Cooper Helfet was inactive

Note: Quarterback Russell Wilson played all 62 offensive snaps as did every offensive linemen except center Drew Nowak. He was replaced by Lemuel Jeanpierre for two plays after limping off the field.