Seahawks Inactives: Collier among 6 healthy scratches, Colts down 2 starters
The Seahawks’ 2021 opener against the Indianapolis Colts is finally here, and Seattle is extremely healthy entering the first game of the season as all six of their inactive players are healthy.
That list does have one fairly surprising name on it, though, with 2019 first-round defensive end L.J. Collier not playing despite being healthy. He is joined by fellow healthy scratches quarterback Jake Luton, cornerback Bless Austin, running back Alex Collins, center Dakoda Shepley and offensive tackle Stone Forsythe.
— Seahawks PR (@seahawksPR) September 12, 2021
Collier had his share of struggles as a rookie in 2019 due to injuries and not creating much of an impact when he did play, but he started all 16 games for the Seahawks in 2020. He recorded three sacks, four tackles for loss and seven quarterback hits while appearing in 49% of Seattle’s defensive snaps last season.
The Seahawks have 10 defensive linemen if you include Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson, who also play strongside linebacker, so it’s not surprising that at least one member of that unit is a healthy scratch, but given Collier’s role last season and his status as a first-round pick, him not playing despite being healthy is a bit of a surprise.
The other name on the list that is at least somewhat surprising is Collins, who had a nice preseason out of the backfield for the Seahawks. Seattle has chosen to carry five running backs on its roster including Collins, but third-year back Travis Homer and 2020 fourth-round pick DeeJay Dallas both carry more value on special teams.
Collins being down also signals that 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny, who has dealt with knee and leg injuries since late 2019, is the clear No. 2 back behind starter Chris Carson.
Forsythe was unlikely to play due to the names ahead of him on the depth chart at tackle, and Shepley is fairly new to the team at center whereas Ethan Pocic and Kyle Fuller have been battling to start at that position.
Austin is also new to the team and while he has starting experience for the New York Jets, he hasn’t been in Seattle’s system too long. But given the uncertainty at that position with Tre Flowers starting, he could find himself playing in the near future.
As for Luton, the Marysville native is the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart behind Russell Wilson and Geno Smith, and the Seahawks historically have carried just two quarterbacks under head coach Pete Carroll.
For the Colts, they will be down two key players in starting left tackle Eric Fisher, who joined the team in free agency this offseason, and starting cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who the Seahawks know well from his many years in Minnesota. Fisher has an injured Achilles while Rhodes is battling a calf injury.
The full Colts inactives list can be found in the embedded tweet below.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 12, 2021