Seahawks’ backfield depth getting tested entering stretch run

Dec 7, 2022, 4:45 PM
Seahawks Kenneth Walker III...
Seahawks RB Kenneth Walker III is tackled by the Raiders' Denzel Perryman on Nov. 27, 2022. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Pete Carroll right away gave an honest assessment of where the running back room stands with the Seattle Seahawks.

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“Well, we got a little walkthrough done so far and Tony Jones (Jr.) looks really good,” Carroll said on Wednesday.

As for the rest of Seattle’s running backs? Well, that remains a major unknown ahead of Sunday’s game against Carolina.

Carroll had only vague updates about the status of starter Kenneth Walker III, and backups Deejay Dallas and Travis Homer after injuries left Seattle’s backfield thin in the second half of last week’s win over the Los Angeles Rams.

Walker jammed his ankle late in the first half against the Rams. Carroll said Monday it’s not a traditional ankle sprain, but there is inflamed tissue in the area. Whether he’s able to get back on the field this week remains unknown.

“He’s doing everything he can. He’s rehabbing all day long, every day and doing everything that he can do to get right,” Carroll said.

Dallas suffered a more traditional sprained ankle and played through the injury in the second half, while Homer wasn’t even active while dealing with a knee issue.

Carroll said Homer was practicing on Wednesday while Dallas didn’t do any work in the early walkthrough.

“(Dallas) was kind of bouncing around today. He didn’t take any snaps in walkthrough but his attitude is exactly what you want. He’s determined to get back. So we’ll see what happens,” Carroll said.

The injury situation last week left Jones suddenly getting his first action as a ball carrier with the Seahawks since being claimed off waivers in October. His numbers were rather meager, rushing for 14 yards on seven carries, but the need was significant after Walker became unavailable and Dallas could be used only sparingly.

“Those type of situations, those types of things just see if you were really prepared for the week,” Jones said. “I think I did pretty decent. I mean, obviously I think I could do better than what I did. But I just got to build from it this week.”

Seattle signed veteran Wayne Gallman to the practice squad to add a little depth, but the entire position is filled with uncertainty ahead of the visit from the Panthers. Exasperating the situation more so for Seattle is the quick turnaround to next week when the Seahawks host the 49ers in a Thursday night game with major implications in the NFC West.

Walker would clearly be the preferred choice, but the rookie has struggled in recent weeks. He was averaging 12 yards per carry on his three rushes before getting hurt against the Rams, although 30 of that came on one run.

Walker was held to 17 yards rushing in Seattle’s loss to Tampa Bay and had just 26 yards on 14 carries in its overtime loss to Las Vegas two weeks ago.

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