Which Seahawks can be ‘dark horse’ contributors going forward?
The Seahawks have just two games left in the regular season and while the 11-3 record is nice and there’s a chance for both an NFC West crown and a first-round playoff bye, there is some concern with injuries and suspensions on both sides of the ball.
The Seahawks are likely without defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and safety Quandre Diggs on Sunday, and they recently lost running back Rashaad Penny for the season with an ACL tear. No. 3 receiver Josh Gordon was suspended indefinitely on Monday and defensive tackle Al Woods was suspended for four games on Friday.
Recently, second-year defensive end Rasheem Green has stepped up and now leads the team in sacks. Who else could start making a surprise impact?
Former NFL wide receiver Michael Bumpus co-hosted 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Dave and Moore with ex-NFL linebacker Dave Wyman and Jim Moore and shared his thoughts. Naturally, the former receiver thinks a current receiver has a chance to make a big impact.
Bumpus said there are three guys – David Moore, Jaron Brown and Malik Turner – who can all be that “dark horse,” but he thinks Turner is the best bet to make an immediate impact with Gordon not playing the rest of the year.
“I think going forward, Malik Turner is going to be the guy to step in,” Bumpus said. “Pete loves him in the run game because he’s a great blocker and what do the Hawks like to do? They like to run (and use) play action passes. I feel like if I’m going to pick a dark horse, it’s Malik Turner.”
Turner has shown chemistry with quarterback Russell Wilson, including a late completion against the San Francisco 49ers on 3rd and 16 that went for 28 yards. Turner caught the ball near the first down marker, made a move and got an additional 12 yards after catching the pass.
“You see his run after the catch, you saw that catch against the 49ers where he gets up the sideline and makes a spin move against a guy,” Bumpus said. “You hear the way Russell talk about him.”
Moore said rookie running back Travis Homer could be a contributor after getting his first offensive snaps last week.
Before last week against the Carolina Panthers, Homer’s only carry came on a fake punt that he ran for 29 yards. Against Carolina, Homer had two carries for seven yards.
With Penny out, C.J. Prosise has been labeled as the No. 2 running back behind Carson, and ahead of Homer, but he nearly fumbled a ball deep in Carolina territory. That could open the door for Homer.
“After getting a couple carries and getting his feet wet the other night and we saw what he did with that fake punt,” Moore said. “If Carson needs to give up some carries, I’m hoping that they give more to Homer than they give to (C.J.) Prosise this week.”
Wyman pointed to another rookie, this time fourth-round defensive back Ugo Amadi, who got his first extended playing time on defense against the Panthers.
Amadi played at nickel corner against Carolina because starting outside corner Shaquill Griffin was out with a hamstring injury and usual nickel starter Akeem King took Griffin’s place.
Amadi made a nice play on a pass that he caught, but Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey knocked it out of his hands. Amadi scooped it up and returned it to the end zone for what was initially ruled a touchdown, but a review reversed the call and ruled it an incomplete pass.
“Just the way once he got the ball in his hands, he looked so confident, like the way he was running that sort of weave to try to get away from (Panthers quarterback) Kyle Allen,” Wyman said “I hope that he has a chance to get out and play a little more nickel … These young guys are fun to watch. You never know what you’re going to get out of them, but hopefully they’re able to step up this week.”
Listen to the discussion at this link or in the player below at the 37:30 mark.