Seahawks QB’s Mysterious Injury Sparks Concern for Bengals Game

Drew Lock

Getty Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock at MetLife Stadium on October 02, 2023.

The Seattle Seahawks (3-1) are looking to snag their fourth-straight win when they travel to face the Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) on Sunday, October 15, however, there’s concern over the team’s quarterback situation.

The Seahawks moved to re-sign quarterback Holton Ahlers for a third time on October 12. It was initially unclear whey the Seahawks would suddenly bring back Ahlers, who initially joined the team as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Carolina, since the team was comfortable entering the 2023 NFL season without a third quarterback on the practice squad.

However, Thursday’s injury report revealed that Geno Smith’s backup, Drew Lock, was out with an ankle jury. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll didn’t address the media on Thursday, so how or when Lock hurt his ankle, or the severity of the injury, remains unknown.

Adding Ahlers may signal that Lock, who led an impressive touchdown drive against the New York Giants on October 2 when Smith briefly exited the game with a knee injury, won’t be able to suit up in Week 6.

Lock’s status is worrisome because even with the extra rest during the team’s bye week, Smith told reporters ahead of practice on Thursday that he still wasn’t 100%. The veteran injured his right knee after getting dragged down on the sidelines by Giants linebacker Isaiah Simmons, which Smith slammed as a “dirty hit.”

“It’s progressively gotten better every day,” Smith said “And I assume that’ll continue.”

Hopefully, the NFL’s 2022 Comeback Player of the Year is correct in his assumption. As it stands, the Seahawks only have one fully healthy quarterback heading into Week 6 and that’s Ahlers.

UPDATE: Carroll told reporters on Friday, October 13, per The Seattle Times Bob Condotta, “Lock stepped on a foot at end of practice Wednesday and turned his ankle. That led to bringing back Ahlers.” While Lock was able to be a limited participant in Friday’s practice, “Carroll said it’s [up] in the air whether they elevate Ahlers for Sunday.”

Holton Ahlers Was a Top-Ranked QB in the Preseason, Considered a ‘Capable Backup’

Ahlers is familiar is with the Seahawks offense and flashed serious talent during preseason. He was the No. 8 best overall rookie quarterback throughout three exhibition games, per SB Nation, completing 16-of-27 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown. He earned an overall 72.9 QB rating.

SI’s Jacob Hare wrote that Ahlers was “remarkable” during the Seahawks’ 24-13 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

“In that game, he exhibited his talents by rushing for 26 yards, completing all four pass attempts for 43 yards, and tossing a 30-yard touchdown to receiver Matt Landers that secured the win… Ahlers continued to deliver with another strong showing against the [Dallas] Cowboys. He threw for 61 yards and again displayed his mobility, rushing for 42 yards… His performances in his first two NFL games have indicated his potential to successfully fulfill the role of a capable backup.”

The 6-foot-3, 227-pound quarterback finished his five-year career at ECU as the school’s all-time leader with 13,927 passing yards, 97 passing touchdowns (97), and total touchdowns (122).

Geno Smith Said The Bengals Defense Present ‘Different Challenges’

While Smith works to get into his best physical shape before traveling to Paycor Stadium this weekend, he’s also been closely studying the Bengals’ unpredictable defense.

“They’ll rush four, they have four great guys, great pass rushers and then they’ll send five, six, or seven and they’ve got some zeros,” Smith told reporters. “They have a bunch of different looks, and they like to be multiple. They’re a gameplan defense, so you’ll know what you’ll get on gameday.

“It’ll be something different than we’ve seen on tape and that’s how pretty much how it’s been all of the time for us. They present a bunch of different challenges, they have a really good coordinator, a really smart head coach, and I assume it’s going to be that ultimate chess match, like always.”