Seahawks Players to Watch: Seattle needs Tyler Lockett after injury scare
The Seahawks’ first game off a bye week will be a road contest against the Philadelphia Eagles, with kickoff of 10 a.m. Sunday on 710 ESPN Seattle and KIRO Radio 97.3 FM.
Rookie safety Ugo Amadi is an early favorite to watch in Week 12, given his likely switch to the starting nickel corner job, but he’s not the only Seahawk who has a big role to play. Here are three other players to watch:
Just two weeks after an injury forced him into a two-night stay at a Bay Area hospital, wide receiver Tyler Lockett is ready to re-take the field.
The 27-year-old was limited at practice Wednesday and Thursday, but head coach Pete Carroll told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson in an interview that will air in full at 12:30 p.m. Friday that Lockett is expected to play Sunday.
“He had a good Thursday yesterday and came through and looked good at practice,” Carroll said. “We were protecting him a little bit in his reps but he’s going to be able to play in the game. We’re really thrilled to have him back.”
The Eagles’ defense is weaker against the pass, which makes Lockett’s return a timely one for Seattle. The Seahawks found success on the ground against the league’s top run defense earlier this season, but running back Chris Carson will face another challenge in Philadelphia. The Eagles’ fourth-ranked rushing defense is allowing just 86 yards per game on the ground. Meanwhile, they’re allowing about 237 passing yards, which keeps them hovering around the middle of the league.
In more recent weeks, though, that’s tightened up. In wins over Buffalo and Chicago in Weeks 8 and 9, Philadelphia allowed just 155 and 102 passing yards, respectively. Granted, the Eagles will be facing Russell Wilson this week, not Josh Allen or Mitch Trubisky. But in a loss to the Patriots last week, they kept Tom Brady from scoring a touchdown – the first time in Brady’s 20-year NFL career that he failed to lead his team in touchdowns.
Wilson is his most efficient when targeting Lockett, and the veteran receiver’s return could be the key to outplaying the Eagles’ defense on the road.
While one injury issue has lessened, another looms large at tight end.
The Seahawks may not need a stellar performance from Jacob Hollister on Sunday in particular, but Hollister’s development as a blocker and his chemistry with Wilson became all the more important following a report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler Thursday.
“Seahawks expected to place TE Ed Dickson back on IR, according to sources. Dickson was activated this week but there’s concern over his recovery from injury,” Fowler said in a tweet.
While the news has not yet been confirmed by the team – Carroll only told Monson that Dickson was unable to practice Thursday – the move would mean Dickson landed back on the injured reserve list just one day after being activated. It would also mean the Seahawks are once again down to just one healthy tight end.
Despite an injured hamstring, it sounds as though Luke Willson remains one option, though he’s still a long shot for Sunday.
“Luke’s a mystery man,” Carroll told Monson. “He’s done some miraculous things in terms of coming back… so we’re going to give him a chance to do some Lazarus stuff here. We’ll see what happens.”
The team also has George Fant, who has filled a hybrid tackle/tight end role for a second season, and Tyrone Swoopes, who has spent the season on the practice squad. Hollister may not need the breakout performance he had against Tampa Bay, but continued targets from Wilson Sunday wouldn’t hurt.
This meeting is an interesting one for Kendricks for two reasons. First, Kendricks was a 2012 second-round draft pick by the Eagles and played for seven seasons in Philadelphia. Second, Kendricks (and the rest of Seattle’s linebackers) will not only play a role in limiting Philly’s run game, but also in containing tight end Zach Ertz.
Ertz is Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz’s favored target and the team leader in receiving yards. The two-time Pro Bowler has 621 yards and two touchdowns so far this season. His 62.1 yards per game is second only to his 2018 season. Injuries to wide receivers Alshon Jeffrey (ankle) and Nelson Agholar (knee) could also mean more work for Ertz on Sunday.