The Seattle Seahawks will make the trip to Pittsburgh with the most important member of the offense sidelined, but the team will have another key player back in action. The Seahawks have officially activated tight end Gerald Everett.
ESPN’s Field Yates provided the update on Monday, October 11. He confirmed that Everett is no longer on the COVID-19/reserved list. Now the veteran tight end will have the opportunity to suit up against the Pittsburgh Steelers after missing games against the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams.
Everett has not been a major piece of the offense early in his first season with the Seahawks. He caught two passes for 20 yards and a touchdown in the season opener against the Colts, but he only brought in one reception for three yards during a loss to the Titans. However, Russell Wilson looked for Everett often during a loss to the Vikings, resulting in five receptions on five targets for 54 yards.
The 6-foot-3-inch tight end will now return to the lineup and try to help his team rebound from a division loss. The Seahawks (2-3) will face off with the Steelers (2-3) at Heinz Field on Sunday, October 17. This game will air on NBC at 8:20 p.m. ET, capping off an action-packed day of football, while Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth provide the call.
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Everett Will Provide Another Option for Geno Smith
The veteran tight end will take back his starting role, and he will join forces with a different quarterback. Wilson is out for multiple weeks after undergoing surgery and having three pins inserted into the middle finger on his throwing hand.
The initial estimates from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport put Wilson’s recovery timeline anywhere between four to eight weeks. However, the veteran insider later reported that the quarterback is targeting a return by Week 10, which would only keep him away from the team for three games and the Week 9 bye.
While Wilson continues to recover, veteran backup Geno Smith will lead the offense. He started quickly on Thursday, October 7, by throwing for 131 yards, one touchdown, and one interception after having no time to prepare. Now Smith will lead the starting offense during practices leading up to games against the Steelers, Saints, and Jaguars. The veteran will also face increased pressure as he tries to help the Seahawks rebound from a 2-3 start to the season.
“When Russ went out, Geno came in, and I thought Geno did an incredible job. I think we were on the three or four-yard line, and he drove us all the way down there,” wide receiver Tyler Lockett told reporters on October 7, per the Seahawks media team. “He did an incredible job, man. Those were some big time drives that he did. Very patient, reading through everything, all his keys. He really did phenomenal; I was really happy for him. I told him I was proud of him, the way that he played. We all know that he can play like that and stuff like that. When he got his opportunity, he showed out, and I was just happy for him. That’s what I kept telling him.”
The Steelers Will Lose an Important Receiver
While the Seahawks will get Everett back in the lineup, the Steelers will enter the game without a talented wide receiver on the field. JuJu Smith-Schuster dislocated his shoulder during a 27-19 victory over the Broncos, which will sideline him for an estimated four months.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Monday, October 11, that the fifth-year receiver will undergo surgery by the end of the week. This procedure will likely end his season, marking the third time in his career that he will miss at least four games. Smith-Schuster only appeared in 12 games in 2019 due to a knee injury, as well as a concussion, that he suffered in a game against the Browns.
As a rookie, Smith-Schuster missed a game against the Packers with a hamstring injury. He missed another after the NFL suspended him for a blindside block on then-Bengals defender Vontaze Burfict.
With Smith-Schuster out of the lineup, the Steelers will move forward with Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, and James Washington as the primary options for Ben Roethlisberger. Backup Ray-Ray McCloud will provide another option, potentially along with free agent Anthony Miller. The former Texans and Bears receiver will head to Pittsburgh on Tuesday, October 12, for a physical, per NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala.