What’s next for the Seahawks’ offense with Tyler Lockett injured?

Dec 19, 2022, 10:06 AM
Seahawks Tyler Lockett...
Tyler Lockett of the Seattle Seahawks runs a route against the Atlanta Falcons at Lumen Field on September 25, 2022. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seahawks have really struggled of late, losing four of their last five games, including a 21-13 defeat at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers last Thursday.

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The Seahawks not only lost that game, but they lost a key player and leader during that contest, too.

Star receiver Tyler Lockett, Seattle’s offensive captain, suffered a broken bone in his hand late in the game which required surgery. He’s expected to miss at least one to two weeks. The Seahawks have three games remaining this season.

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That’s obviously a big blow for the Hawks as Lockett has been one of the franchise’s most consistent players. The eighth-year pro is second on the Seahawks in targets and receptions behind DK Metcalf and leads the team in receiving yards and touchdowns.

So with Lockett out for the time being, what does the Seahawks’ passing game look like? Bob Stelton and Mike Lefko discussed that last Friday on Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Wyman and Bob.

“I guess the question becomes who steps up in his absence?” Stelton asked. “Now, the obvious answer to me is Marquise Goodwin. That would seem the obvious answer.”

Goodwin is in his ninth NFL season and his first with the Seahawks. He’s emerged as a reliable target for quarterback Geno Smith, ranking fifth in receptions, fourth in receiving yards and third in touchdowns this season.

There’s also another receiver people may be looking at to step up.

“They got a guy that they used their first pick that they had – which was a second-round pick – a couple of drafts ago in Dee Eskridge, who I think people forget about just because he’s just always sort of been unavailable,” Stelton said.

Eskridge was drafted in the second round in 2021 but, as Stelton said, has missed a lot of time due to injury. He’s played a total of 20 games between his first two NFL seasons and this year, he’s played just 27% of Seattle’s offensive snaps while catching seven passes. Eskridge has been on injured reserve since late-November with a broken hand.

Head coach Pete Carroll told reporters last week Eskridge is “coming back around” and “has a shot” to help the Seahawks late this season.

Stelton, meanwhile, has no expectations for Eskridge anymore.

“I would say that obviously Marquise is ahead of him, I would put Penny Hart above him, maybe (rookie) Dareke Young is ahead of him at this point,” he said. “I’m not looking to Dee Eskridge for anything. If he gives you something that would be awesome. But at this point, I’d have really zero expectation (for Eskridge).”

Lefko also things Goodwin is the Seahawks’ obvious No. 2 receiver behind Metcalf with Lockett out, but he stressed that Seattle needs someone else to be a viable target for Smith in the passing game.

“The problem is if they cover (Goodwin), if they take him away, we’ve seen DK be able to get locked down because teams devote so much attention to him,” he said. “So who is that third (option)? I think it’s gotta be just more focused on the tight ends, right?”

When the Seahawks were thriving offensively earlier this season, not only was the run game more effective, but they utilized all three of their tight ends very well in the passing game.

“We have seen an absence of the of the tight ends and that was something that was working so well early in the season … The tight end utilization has certainly dropped. And I think they’ve kept them back more to block a little bit,” Lefko said. “… I think the Seahawks need to somehow get back to that ingenuity that freed up these tight ends, get them open because we’re just talking true wide receiver No. 3. There hasn’t been a guy who’s shown he can do it yet.”

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What’s next for the Seahawks’ offense with Tyler Lockett injured?