Seahawks Reveal $32 Million CB Devon Witherspoon’s Status for Week 2

Pete Carroll

Getty Seahawks head coach reveals cornerback Devon Witherspoon's status for Week 2.

The Seattle Seahawks (0-1) proved they have a lot to work on following their 30-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams (1-0) in Week 1, but the team’s defense will be getting reinforcements before taking on the Detroit Lions (1-0) on Sunday, September 17.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll announced during his weekly appearance on 97.3 FM’s Seattle’s Morning News that their No. 5 overall pick from the 2023 NFL draft, Devon Witherspoon, will make his team debut in Week 2.

“Yeah, Devon’s going to play,” Carroll said. “He had a big week, he made plays in practice and had fun with it. His juice is obvious when he’s on the field. So he’s going.”

There was palpable excitement for Witherspoon to become an immediate shut down cornerback for the team after he was drafted, however, hamstring issues kept the 22-year-old from being a full participant in the spring. After a brief training camp holdout due to a contract dispute, Witherspoon re-injured his leg and ended up missing the entire preseason.

While there was a chance the Illinois alum played in Week 1, the Seahawks erred on the side caution with their top rookie, who signed a four-year, $31.86 million rookie contract with the team.

Carroll told reporters before the home opener at Lumen Field last week, “He did a nice job getting through it, the work that he needed…We feel he could possibly play, we got him as questionable and we’ll see what happens with that. But we got to do long-term thinking taking care of our guys as much as we possibly can.”

It’s Not Clear Which Position Devon Witherspoon Will Play

While addressing the media after Friday’s practice, Carroll was clearly pumped to get Witherspoon out there. “He was on fire, he had a blast,” Carroll said. “He’s been waiting so long to get to this point. He was active, impressive in his coverage, fits, all that stuff. He did everything.”

However, when Carroll was asked which position Witherspoon would play, as the cornerback took the bulk of his reps in the nickel slot before getting injured, the answer was unclear. Carroll said, “He’s practicing all over the place.”

With Witherspoon out in Week 1, Coby Bryant resumed his position in the slot while Tre Brown and Mike Jackson rotated at left cornerback. Considering the defense’s lackluster performance against the Rams, there’s a chance Witherspoon could take snaps at left corner opposite Tariq Woolen when they face the Lions at Ford Field.

Playing nickel, which consists of taking on multiple assignments at any given moment, is one of the reasons it’s rare for a rookie to take over the job. But it’s been an “easy” transition for Witherspoon, Carroll told reporters on August 3.

“He’s a natural football player and I say that because he’s really instinctive,” Carroll said. “He does things kind of naturally right before we’ve even had a chance to get through all of the assignments and stuff like that. He has a real feel for things. So, he’s made really quick progress right there… He’s done a nice job. He’s aggressive, he’s a playmaker, he’s looking for plays to make and it’s a good spot for him in that regard.”

The Seahawks Will Be Without 2 Starting Tackles

Geno Smith

GettySeahawks quarterback Geno Smith at Lumen Field on September 10, 2023.

While Witherspoon looks the give the Seahawks defense a boost, quarterback Geno Smith will be playing behind a weakened offensive line. Right tackle Abe Lucas was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday after suffering a knee injury in Week 1, and left tackle Charles Cross, who was carted off the field after hurting his toe, was ruled out for Week 2.

With both starters out, Stone Forsythe will take over at left tackle and Jake Curhan at right tackle. The Seahawks signed 41-year-old tackle Jason Peters earlier this week, and while he looked “phenomenal” Carrol said, the nine-time Pro Bowler won’t suit up on Sunday.

“He won’t be able to get there,” Carroll said. “It’s too soon, it’s too much to ask. He had a fantastic first few days with us, but we can’t get that done yet.”