What do the Seahawks look like without star WR DK Metcalf?

Oct 24, 2022, 3:26 PM

Seattle Seahawks DK Metcalf...

DK Metcalf of the Seattle Seahawks jumps over Atlanta's Casey Hayward on Sept. 25, 2022. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The good news for the Seahawks? Star wide receiver DK Metcalf doesn’t need surgery and isn’t seriously injured after leaving Sunday’s win over the Chargers with a knee injury. The bad news? Seattle may be without the big receiver for at least this weekend.

Seahawks WR DK Metcalf hurt patellar but doesn’t need surgery

Head coach Pete Carroll said Monday that the Seahawks got “a really good report” on Metcalf’s knee injury, which Carroll specified was to Metcalf’s patellar tendon.

“There’s some thought that there’s been an old injury and some stuff is complicating it, but it’s a great report,” Carroll said to Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk. “I was just with him in the training room and he’s really positive about it. I don’t know what that means in terms of coming back and how soon and all of that, but his attitude is exactly where you would want it to be.”

Carroll said Metcalf is aiming to practice on Wednesday, but noted that may not be realistic.

On Sunday, the NFC West-leading Seahawks host the 6-1 New York Giants in a matchup of surprise winning teams. If Metcalf can’t play in that game – and perhaps more games going forward – what does that mean for the offense?

Stacy Rost and former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus broke down what the absence of Metcalf may look like during Monday’s Bump and Stacy.

“Now I know that DK Metcalf isn’t leading the league in total receiving yards, but he is second on the team with 31 receptions. In total yards, he’s also second on the team with 418,” Rost said. ” … Without DK Metcalf this offense does look different … It’s one thing to bounce back from not having (running back) Rashaad Penny, it’s another to bounce back from not having DK Metcalf, knowing that your third guy is (tight end) Will Dissly and your fourth guy is (tight end) Noah Fant. I am a little bit nervous about an offense without DK Metcalf.”

Bump said that opposing defenses “have to respect” everything Metcalf does on the field and really key in on him since he’s such a big and fast receiver with massive production since entering the league in 2019.

Offensively, the Seahawks would be missing out on the opportunity to attempt low-percentage throws that they wouldn’t attempt with most other receivers.

“You’ll throw it to DK because he can box them out, he’s bigger, he’s got a bigger body, he can make some catches that a smaller guy can make,” Bumpus said. “So that’s what you’re gonna miss out of DK … Even if he doesn’t (have a monster game) he still imposes his will on a defense.”

But because of how offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and quarterback Geno Smith are getting a lot of playmakers involved, Bumpus thinks the Seahawks can weather the storm if Metcalf misses any time.

“They can still be OK. It’s not like all is lost without DK, but you’re losing something that a lot of teams don’t have on their team, which is a massive, just talented human being,” he said.

The Seahawks also still have enough speed to keep opposing defenses honest, with wide receiver Marquise Goodwin stepping up on Sunday with two touchdowns as Metcalf was hurt.

“Goodwin can stretch to fill it out. This guy was at the Olympic Trials for a reason. So is he going to be able to physically impose the defense with the same type of anxiousness and urgency that DK does? No. But can he make that safety turn his hips and run? Yes,” Bumpus said. “Can he make a corner getting out of his bag pedal and flip and turn around? Yes. It’s not going to be the same. I’m not trying to justify that everything’s gonna be great because DK is not here. I’m saying that in the short-term, there’s enough speed out there to really stretch a defense out.”

The Seahawks also have a revitalized running game, with rookie Kenneth Walker III leading the charge, that Bumpus said should help, too.

“If Ken Walker can continue to run the football the way that he did last week – I’m not asking for a 168 (yards), I’m not asking for two touchdowns, I’m asking for over 100 and 20 to 25 carries – (defenses have to) respect the run and it opens everything else up,” he said.

“If they don’t have DK, I’m assuming that we turn to one of your three tight ends as your (No. 2) wide receiver,” Rost later said. “The way that the team is right now, Will Dissly is your (No. 3) wide receiver with Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson right behind him. You use your three tight ends more often than you target or utilize the two wide receivers behind Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, though do we see an emergence of Goodwin or even of Dee Eskridge?”

Eskridge, a second-round pick in 2021, has yet to find his footing at the NFL level and fumbled on his lone offensive touch against the Chargers. But Bumpus thinks he could still get some run going forward.

“The thing about Dee Eskridge … the way that they’re using him lets you know that they see something in him and he’s doing something in practice that says, ‘Alright, we need to get this guy some more touches,'” he said. “…  But I think you’re right, I think you’re gonna see more two- and three-tight end sets.”

Bumpus pointed to Seattle’s 10-plus minute field goal drive against the Chargers as something to keep in mind against the Giants, though, especially with Metcalf potentially sidelined.

“Because you don’t have DK, you’re gonna be more likely to have to put together (longer) drives, which is fine. I think that’s best, honestly, because that means you’re controlling the tempo of the game, you’re controlling the clock,” he said. “Because what the Giants are going to do is they’re going to run the heck out of the football with Saquon Barkley … and (quarterback Daniel Jones) runs the football as well. So this could be a slow-paced, back and forth game, and whoever makes those two or three explosive plays could probably win this game.”

Listen to the first hour of Monday’s Bump and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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