What is a successful 2022 season for Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny?
Jun 30, 2022, 9:35 AM
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
After finishing with 671 yards and six touchdowns over his final five games in 2021, Rashaad Penny re-signed with the Seahawks on a one-year deal for the 2022 season.
With Penny finishing 2021 on such a tear, expectations are very high for the 2018 first-round pick heading into 2022.
First and foremost, Bumpus said, it starts with Penny’s health. He’s looking for Penny to play at least 14 games in 2022.
As far as Penny’s production goes, Bumpus said it depends largely on how much rookie running back Ken Walker III is involved with the Seahawks’ offense.
“With a little Ken Walker involvement, (Penny) goes over 1,000 yards. That’s a good year,” Bumpus said of his expectations for Penny. “With a lot of Ken Walker involvement, 800 yards and about five to six touchdowns. I will say I’m gonna set the bar a bit low for him just because we know he has a injury history. So we’re gonna leave some room for error.”
Penny has a lengthy history of leg injuries since entering the NFL, but he’s not the only running back on the Seahawks’ roster who has injury question marks.
Chris Carson, who has been the Seahawks’ lead back since 2018, may not play in 2022 or ever again as he suffered a serious neck injury last season. Because of that, Stacy Rost wonders if the Seahawks may be more cautious with Penny since there may not be as much depth at that spot as they’d prefer.
“Do you think the Seahawks will be maybe less aggressive with Penny in the run game, or are they going to be like, ‘Hey, just go for it?'” Rost asked.
Bumpus replied, “I think they’ve gotta go. I think if they want to be the team that they’re describing, that they want to be a run-first team or run-heavy team, especially with the quarterback situation they’ve got going on, you’ve got to see what Rashaad can do.”
Bumpus is curious whether Penny can hold up as a lead back for an entire season.
“Can you handle 20 carries a game? Can you duplicate what you did late in the season? If not, we’ve got a young guy here (in Walker) who we feel like doesn’t have the miles on his body, doesn’t have the injury history, so let’s see what he does,” Bumpus said. “I hope Rashaad gets it done. I hope Ken Walker doesn’t have to be the No. 1 running back. And it’d be nice if Chris Carson can come back and save the day. But we know that injury looks pretty tough. I hope he makes the right decision for himself. But Rashaad Penny, you’ve got to let this man go. He showed you that he can do it for five games. Can he do it for 17?”
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