With Penny out for the Seahawks, what’s the future of the run game?
Just after Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny finally seemed to have carved a role in Seattle’s offense, he went down with an injury.
The second-year back caught a swing pass on the Seahawks’ first drive of the game against the Los Angeles Rams and gained 16 yards. Immediately after he was tackled and landed on the ground, he was writhing in pain. The Seahawks went on to lose 28-12.
Penny was initially listed as questionable to return with a knee injury but soon after, he was ruled out. He posted a thank you to Seahawks fans on Twitter while the game was still going on.
GOD makes no mistakes. Love you 12s . Thank you for the support💙💚
— Rashaad Penny (@pennyhendrixx) December 9, 2019
After the game, head coach Pete Carroll said he had a “significant” ACL sprain.
On Monday, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Penny has a torn ACL and additional damage to his knee and will be out for the rest of the season.
#Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny tore his ACL in last night’s loss to the #Rams and is out for the season, source said. The MRI confirmed the news for the former first-round pick, who also has additional damage to his knee. He’s out until training camp. Tough injury.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 9, 2019
On Monday, Carroll said Penny would miss the rest of the season, but didn’t say the severity of the injury. As of Tuesday, the team has still not made an official announcement on Penny’s status going forward.
Penny had come on strong over the previous two weeks, totally over 100 yards in each contest and three total touchdowns. He has struggled to live up to his status as a 2018 first-round pick, but was starting to show what made him that high of a draft choice.
The thought was he and starter Chris Carson would be a potent one-two punch down the stretch. Carson has rushed for over 1,000 yards for the second-straight year, but has had issues with fumbling the football, opening the door for Penny to play more.
Now that Penny is out, what should we expect out of the Seahawks’ running game?
C.J. Prosise and rookie Travis Homer are the only other running backs on Seattle’s active roster. Prosise has been a healthy scratch throughout the season, but was active against the Rams. Homer is a special teams contributor and has just one carry for 29 yards, though it was on a fake punt.
“You could just give all the carries to Chris Carson if you wanted to,” Jim Moore said on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Dave and Moore. “Or would you sprinkle in C.J. Prosise in the next game against Carolina? Or would you say ‘C.J., we’ve seen enough from you.'”
Prosise had just one carry for 2 yards, but also was a part of a read option exchange with quarterback Russell Wilson that resulted in a fumble that Seattle recovered.
It’s a little similar to Penny’s game against the San Francisco 49ers where he had two carries for 2 yards and lost a fumble. The next week, Penny ran for over 100 yards and had a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles. He followed that up with 107 total yards and two touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings.
“Maybe C.J. Procise will be like Rashaad Penny where you were down on Prosise and then all of a sudden he’ll have a breakout game,” Moore said.
Prosise has shown flashes of brilliance during his career with the Seahawks, but has struggled to stay healthy. Despite Prosise’s potential and experience in Seattle’s offense, Moore thinks Seattle should look at giving the rookie more touches.
Co-host Dave Wyman said putting someone in at running back can be tough because they may not have much experience playing with the starting quarterback.
“You need to spend a lot of time with the quarterback as far as that whole read option thing goes,” Wyman said.
Co-host Bob Stelton thinks Prosise may get more looks rather than Homer.
“They’ve kept Prosise on the roster for a reason,” Stelton said. “They’ve got to be seeing something there or else I’m sure they would have cut him or traded him or done something. Would you opt for the veteran (Prosise) who’s at least familiar with the offense … do you give him more opportunities … we all want to see Travis. We all want to see him play but there may be a reason we’re not seeing it.”
Wyman thinks that Homer would be on the field more if he was ready to play, but he is a big fan of Homer’s play on special teams.
“I would love to see him too, but right now I think C.J. Prosise is the best option and it will just take him busting a couple of runs making a catch or something and everyone will go, ‘Oh yeah, we forgot, he’s really good,'” Wyman said.
While the Seahawks’ running has been a strength of the team since Carroll took over, Wyman said it appears to be “hanging by a thread.”
“Chris Carson is a big, tough guy and everything but now if something happens with him, you are down to C.J. Prosise and Travis Homer,” he said.
Listen to the discussion at this link or in the player below at the 23:18 mark.
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