Who does Seahawks’ defense need to step up with D.J. Reed out?

Dec 20, 2021, 12:16 PM
Seahawks Sidney Jones...
Arizona's Zach Ertz catches a touchdown in front of Seahawks CB Sidney Jones on Nov. 21. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seahawks were already down two key players on the reserve/COVID-19 list before six more landed in protocol on Sunday, just two days ahead of a rescheduled game against the Rams.

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The biggest of those new names is starting cornerback D.J. Reed, which presents an issue for Seattle’s defense. Not only is Reed out, but the Seahawks had already been hit hard at cornerback with a season-ending patellar tendon injury to promising rookie Tre Brown.

What does it mean for Seattle going into a game against a Los Angeles offense led by quarterback Matthew Stafford, who is fifth in the NFL with 3,898 passing yards, and wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who leads the league with 1,489 receiving yards?

“Sidney Jones is probably going to have to step up and play the kind of game that that he played against Arizona, where he played really well,” 710 ESPN Seattle’s Dave Wyman said Monday during his weekly appearance on Jake and Stacy.

Jones, a UW Huskies product who Seattle traded for just prior to the regular season, had 11 combined tackles and a pass defensed in the Nov. 21 game against Arizona that Wyman mentioned.

Wyman lamented about the state of Seattle’s cornerbacks considering what the team appeared to have in the short time Reed and Brown played together in between two injuries to Brown.

“That is such a shame because those two guys I thought really looked good and were going to be solid at corner.”

Wyman, a former NFL linebacker who now serves as color commentator for Seahawks Radio Network broadcasts and co-hosts 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob, didn’t stop just at Jones when discussing who can help the Hawks slow down the Rams’ passing attack.

“It’s probably going to come from the middle of the defense,” Wyman said. “The linebackers, you look at what those two guys have accomplished over the year – I think together Jordyn Brooks and Bobby Wagner have like 285 tackles or something like that.”

Pretty close – Wagner and Brooks have 287 combined tackles between the two of them, with Wagner leading the NFL with 152.

While the duo is good at tracking down receivers after they made a catch, Wyman wants to see them do better in preventing passes from being completed on Tuesday.

“They’re gonna have to step up in the middle because they were two of the culprits last time. I keep bringing this up on our show… but it was a second-and-17 and those guys jumped 5-yard routes. So you know, they’re gonna have to really be disciplined in in their their zone drops.”

Kickoff for Seahawks and Rams is set for 4 p.m. Tuesday on 710 ESPN Seattle and KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. Coverage begins on both stations with the pregame show at 1 p.m.

You can listen to Wyman’s segment with Jake and Stacy when it is posted at 3 p.m. Monday on the 710 ESPN Seattle podcast page here.

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Who does Seahawks’ defense need to step up with D.J. Reed out?