McIntosh, who signed a four-year, $3.9 million rookie contract with Seattle this offseason, was already ruled out for Week 1, but the Seahawks announced on Saturday, September 9, that he was being placed on injured reserve (IR), which means he’ll be out at least four weeks.
Because Seattle has an early bye in Week 5, McIntosh’s first possible game back won’t come until Week 6.
The Seahawks’ seventh-round pick from the 2023 NFL Draft was injured during the third quarter of the team’s mock game on August 4. Fox 13 Seattle reported, “McIntosh had his left leg wrenched awkwardly as linebacker Levi Bell rode him to the ground. McIntosh came off gingerly and was evaluated on the sidelines before having an ice wrap applied to his leg.”
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was incredibly optimistic that the Georgia alum wouldn’t be out long, telling reporters on August 6 they had “very good news” regarding McIntosh.
“He’s got a sprain that might be a couple of weeks. It looked nasty, but the flexible, extraordinary athlete that he is, he made it through that awkward position that he got in, and came out OK,” Caroll said. “He’s walking around and all that, he’s got a little swelling. We think it’s like a first-degree type of sprain, so we were very lucky there.”
The Seahawks still have three formidable running backs on the active roster. Kenneth Walker Jr., Zach Charbonnet, and DeeJay Dallas will all be ready to go against the Rams on Sunday, September 10.
Kenny McIntosh Flashed Strong Potential While Zach Charbonnet & Kenneth Walker Were Injured
The Seahawks received some flack after drafting McIntosh on Day 3, as they had used a second-round pick to select UCLA standout Charbonnet, and with last year’s second-rounder, Walker, primed to be RB1, the move felt extraneous.
During training camp, however, both Walker (groin) and Charbonnet (shoulder) went down with injuries, and McIntosh capitalized on his time to shine. “Kenny has been probably one of the highlights,” Carroll told reporters of the former Bulldog on July 30.
“He lost about 10 pounds from when he was here in the springtime. He’s in great shape, and he’s just razor sharp, and he’s been explosive, innovative with his runs and his cuts, caught the ball well.”
While McIntosh helped Georgia win two national championships, his draft stock fell after he posted a 4.62 time for the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, making him the third-slowest running back in Indianapolis that day, per SI.
McIntosh has since proved in Seattle that that was an off-day. “He’s really quick out there,” Carroll said. “The coaches have commented that we are surprised at how quick he has looked 4.53 or something like that. There’s a lot of really good running backs that run that time so, that’s not the issue. But he has looked quicker than he did in the springtime that’s all I can say. Everyone’s fired up about it.”
Before getting injured, it appeared McIntosh had a real shot at beating out veteran Deejay Dallas as the team’s third back.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote of the 23-year-old prospect in his pre-draft profile, “He’s more than capable of finding big runs over the tackles and becomes a more physical finisher as the run progresses. McIntosh has excellent hands and the potential to mismatch coverages when isolated out of the backfield. He could become a RB2 with full-time third-down reps.”
Seahawks Elevated CB Artie Burns to the Active Roster, Major Implication for Devon Witherspoon
After placing McIntosh on IR, the Seahawks elevated linebacker Jon Rhattigan to the active roster for Sunday’s matchup, and cornerback Artie Burns, which raised some eyebrows. With these two veterans activated, it strongly insinuates the team’s No. 5 overall pick from the 2023 NFL Draft, cornerback Devon Witherspoon, will not play in the season opener.
The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, “Expect Rhattigan to play on special teams while Burns will be corner depth and likely further assures Devon Witherspoon isn’t playing.”
Witherspoon, who’s been taking first-team reps in the nickel slot, suffered another hamstring injury during training camp, which kept him out for several weeks. Carroll told reporters on Friday, September 8 that he could “possibly play” against the Rams, but reading between the lines, it sounded more like Seattle would be extra cautious with their top rookie.
“He did a nice job getting through [practice],” Carroll said. “He worked, he competed, got a lot of turns but measured the whole time. He can possibly play, so we got him as questionable and we’ll see what happens with that. We got to do long-term thinking making sure we’re taking care of our guys the best we possibly can and so we’ll see what we do with that.”