With Olsen out with injury, Dissly and TEs ready to step up for Seahawks
The Seahawks were dealt a big blow on offense during their win last week over the Arizona Cardinals as starting tight end Greg Olsen tore the plantar fascia in his left foot.
Olsen has since been placed on injured reserve and head coach Pete Carroll told reporters that the team believes Olsen could return in four to six weeks as he’s had this injury before, but in his other foot.
Olsen, 35, signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks this offseason rather than signing with either the Buffalo Bills or Washington Football Team. He also could have retired and started his broadcasting career with FOX Sports. Instead, Olsen chose to come to the Pacific Northwest and while his numbers aren’t eye-popping, he has led all Seahawks tight ends with 23 catches, including a touchdown, for 224 yards. Of those 23 receptions, 16 went for first downs or a touchdown.
Now that Olsen is on injured reserve for at least three weeks, third-year tight end Will Dissly will likely see a larger role going forward along with Jacob Hollister and rookie Colby Parkinson. Dissly spoke with reporters Friday about what Olsen’s injury means for Seattle’s tight end room.
First, Dissly spoke about how tight-knit that position group is and how that came into play when Olsen went down with the injury.
“We’re a close group, so when (Olsen) went down, obviously the first thought was to be with him, especially knowing what it’s like going down and having to go through that battle,” Dissly said, alluding to his two season-ending injuries the last two seasons. “So the first thing we thought of was just trying to pick Greg up and trying to be there for him. Thanksgiving comes around and we’re just trying to love up on Greg right now.”
Dissly said he was happy the team was able to pull out a one-score win over the Cardinals for Olsen, and that now, he, Hollister and Parkinson are ready for what’s next.
“Moving forward, I think the guys are excited,” Dissly said. “Like I said, we’re a close group, we work really well together and we’ll all attack the role together.”
Dissly this season has 14 catches, 163 yards and one touchdown and has appeared in all 10 games so far. That’s a big step for the young tight end after a torn patellar tendon ended his rookie year in 2018 after only four games and an Achilles tear in 2019 stopped his season after six games. Across those 10 games, Dissly caught 31 passes and had 418 yards and six touchdowns.
Dissly, who was clearly one of quarterback Russell Wilson’s favorite targets when healthy those first two seasons, is just happy to be back on the field and is more concerned about wins and losses than seeing his numbers increase.
“I’m grateful to be playing,” he said. “I think first and foremost (my focus is) how the team’s doing, winning games. Just to be in contention right now is kind of my main focus and doing anything I can to help this team win. I don’t really look at expectations or goals or whatnot, I’m just trying to do my job to the best of my ability.”
During the offseason, it wasn’t clear if Dissly would be back for the start of the season after recovering from the torn Achilles, but he’s played in every game and said that he’s felt great since he returned to action.
“I would say just without (organized team activities) and running through routes and stuff it took me some time,” he said. “I think fall camp was definitely a little bit rusty, but as weeks go on I get more and more confident. But I’d say I was totally back and running at 100% speed (at camp) and being able to execute at a really high level and I wouldn’t have come back if I didn’t think I was going to be able to do that.”
Dissly and Hollister, who was the Seahawks’ third leading receiver in his first year in Seattle in 2019, both have chemistry with Wilson, but Parkinson is a bit of an unknown commodity.
The 6-feet-7-inch tall tight end was drafted in the fourth round out of Stanford in April and has yet to see much game action. He suffered a Jones fracture in his foot over the summer and landed on the non-football injury list and was activated ahead of Week 8. He played just three snaps that week, but has been a healthy scratch in the three games since. Dissly said he hopes Parkinson gets some time to shine going forward this year now that there’s an open window of opportunity for the rookie with Olsen out.
“He’s a sharp dude. I’m excited to get him out there and see what he can do and let it rip a little bit,” Dissly said. “He’s done a great job just working his tail off getting back from his foot injury and I think it’s time to let him rip and he’s going to (have) a good role for us, filling spells for Jake and I and doing what he’s done best. I think he’s done a really good job picking up the schemes, blocking and passing, so we’ll see what he can do.”