Between the salary cap issues the Seattle Seahawks face and the lack of playing time Eddie Lacy has seen in recent weeks, Lacy could be a healthy scratch for the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday.
Signed to be the big, bruising back Pete Carroll loves, Lacy has had trouble getting started this season. Among running backs on the active roster, the 138 offensive snaps he has played this season is ahead of only Mike Davis, who has been on the active roster for less than a month and missed two games with a groin injury. Rookie Chris Carson, who hasn’t played since breaking his leg and tearing a ligament in his ankle in week 4, was on the field for 152 offensive snaps before the injury.
In trying to guess who might be named inactive for the Jaguars game, the final injury report for the week is a good place to start.
#Seahawks injury report updated w/ Friday practice participation: pic.twitter.com/pDkfcK7xWg— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) December 8, 2017
Back to a full complement of 53 players on the active roster after playing at just 52 last week for the second time this season, Kam Chancellor, Oday Aboushi and Nazair Jones will not dress. Dion Jordan is supposed to be a gametime decision, but still battling a neck injury, it will not be a surprise if he does not suit up. Assuming he does not play, that leaves at least three healthy scratches.
A quick look at the roster to figure out where those healthy scratches might come from puts the decision in the same place. Assuming both Jordan and Jones are inactive on the defensive line, with the amount of running the Jacksonville offense does, the Seahawks are likely to keep all eight other defensive linemen active. Add in that the Hawks will probably be playing in their base defense more often than usual, and the five linebackers are also likely to stay active. Further, with the special teams contributions they have from the linebacker and defensive backs, it would seem they are likely to keep all fourteen healthy players at those positions active.
Moving on to the offense, it is likely that sixth receiver David Moore will be one of those inactives. Next, the team typically dresses eight offensive linemen, and with nine healthy lineman on the roster another will likely be from this group. Joey Hunt should be the backup center and Matt Tobin the swing tackle, which leaves either Mark Glowinski or Jordan Roos likely to be the inactive linemen. Roos is probably the choice because of his youth, and that leaves just one more inactive spot available.
The team always keeps at least three tight ends active, and in spite of Russell Wilson’s durability, there is no way Seattle goes into the game without a backup quarterback. That leaves the last inactive coming from the running backs. Mike Davis is the starter, and J.D. McKissic has been active in every game since being given a chance to shine against Indianapolis in week 4. That would appear to leave it a decision between Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls.
Thomas Rawls missed the season opener with an injury and has been a healthy scratch twice. In addition, on two occasions this season Rawls has played just a single snap when he did dress. For Lacy, he was a healthy scratch in week two, and while he suited up for week three against the Tennessee Titans, he never saw the field. There are also salary cap ramifications involved, as Lacy has $62,500 in per game active roster bonuses that could come into consideration, as choosing not to play Lacy would make John Schneider’s job of keeping the team under the salary cap a little bit simpler.
In any case, who Seattle decides to keep inactive will be an interesting piece to keep an eye on in the buildup to the game. At least the team has enough healthy players at this point in the season that the coaches have the luxury of deciding who to make a healthy scratch, rather than being in a position where they are forced to choose which injured players are best able to compete.