Seahawks Dealing With Injuries Entering First Preseason Game

Ethan Pocic

Getty Ethan Pocic reacts to a missed Blair Walsh field goal.

The Seattle Seahawks officially kick off the preseason on Saturday, Aug. 14, with a trip to Las Vegas to play the Raiders. Several players will be inactive for the battle due to injuries, including two members of the offensive line. Neither Ethan Pocic nor Cedric Ogbuehi will play against the Raiders.

According to Gregg Bell of the “Tacoma News Tribune,” head coach Pete Carroll ruled out both players on Tuesday, Aug. 10. He explained that Pocic will be inactive for a number of days while he deals with a hamstring issue. Ogbuehi, on the other hand, will remain out “multiple weeks” with a “little muscle thing.”

Bell also noted that “nearly 20% of the Seahawks’ 91-man roster” did not practice on Aug. 10 for various reasons. The list included holdouts Jamal Adams and Duane Brown, as well as several other starters. D.J. Reed, Gabe Jackson, Damien Lewis, Rashaad Penny, Ogbuehi, Pocic, Cody Barton, and Penny Hart made up the list of key contributors missing time. Though Bob Condotta of “The Seattle Times” noted that Jackson and Lewis simply had rest days.

Concerns Linger About Penny & His Availability

Rashaad Penny

GettyRashaad Penny rushes against the Minnesota Vikings.

Entering the 2021 season, former first-round pick Rashaad Penny faces extra pressure to make an impact. He has not played a full 16-game schedule during his first three seasons with the Seahawks. He appeared in 14 games as a rookie, rushing for 419 yards, and then suited up for another 10 in 2019.

2020 marked a particularly low point for the running back. He only appeared in three games due to his ACL recovery taking up the majority of the season and rushed for a total of 34 yards on 11 attempts. Now he is dealing with another issue that will keep him away from the field for an undetermined amount of time.

Penny has missed multiple practices during training camp, as well as the mock game, due to a thigh issue. According to “ESPN,” Carroll said that the team was merely being cautious while holding Penny out and that the running back “felt fine” while on the field. Though Carroll told reporters that “we’ll see” if Penny returns in time to suit up for the first preseason game.

The running back previously missed minicamp while recovering from a procedure on his knee. He underwent what Carroll called a “cleanup procedure” on the same knee where he suffered a torn ACL that derailed his 2019 and 20202 seasons.

Other Running Backs Will Fight for Snaps Amid Penny’s Absence

With Penny likely missing the first preseason game, several other players will have the opportunity to showcase their skills for the coaching staff and decision-makers. The Seahawks have several running backs on the roster that are currently fighting for snaps and will continue to do so in Las Vegas. The list includes Cameron Scarlett, Alex Collins, DeeJay Dallas, and Josh Johnson.

According to radio host Paul Gallant, Dallas is “making the most of the chances” he is getting while Penny remains on the sideline. He has reportedly become a trusted checkdown option quarterback Russell Wilson in recent days. Now Dallas will have the opportunity to continue impressing against the Raiders.

One player that will need to make positive strides is Johnson. The rookie from Louisiana-Monroe played a role in a defensive touchdown during the Seahawks’ mock game on Sunday, Aug. 8. Backup quarterback Geno Smith pitched the football to him, but the ball hit Johnson in the chest plate and then landed on the turf. Defensive tackle Poona Ford scooped up the fumble and raced for a touchdown.

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