Week 9 presented a difficult matchup for the Seattle Seahawks, as one of the most talented teams in the NFL rolled into town. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, their matchup against the L.A. Chargers only became more difficult as the game progressed, as Seattle lost both Chris Carson and Bradley McDougald to injuries.
McDougald and Carson’s exits led to Delano Hill featuring heavily for the first time this season, and Rashaad Penny returning from the wilderness after a month.
Take a look at the full snap counts below, before we get into some notes of interest:
Rashaad Penny re-emerges, kind of
After dealing with a groin/hip issue in the week leading up to Sunday, Carson made it through the first-half before leaving the game for good. With C.J. Prosise inactive, it was on Mike Davis and Penny to carry the load the rest of the way.
Davis got the lion’s share of the work, playing 73% of the offense’s snaps and touching the ball 22 times. Penny, whose only work in the previous two outings had come on special teams, saw 15% of the offense’s snaps and seven touches.
Carson’s status for Week 10 will likely be in question all week. If he misses his second game of the season, Penny, not Davis, should step into the feature role. However, the coaching staff’s faith in Davis could lead to another week of frustrating usage for the rookie.
K.J. Wright again leaned on
In Wright’s 2018 debut against the Lions, he played 85% of the defense’s snaps. It was a larger number than expected, and as Wright missed practice time in the days that followed, it seemed like the team may have mismanaged his return. However, as Week 9 rolled around, Wright was again ready to go, playing 86% of snaps.
Though the veteran ‘backer did appear to be slow to the football on multiple occasions, it was a relief to see his workload not drop down in his second game back. As Wright works back to 100%, perhaps the Seahawks will continue to manage him throughout the week and sit him in practices.
Delano Hill enters, holds his own
McDougald, like Carson, had a week-long issue tighten up on him during Sunday’s loss and he did not return. McDougald’s exit led to Hill being plugged in at strong safety, and playing 49% of the defense’s snaps. (McDougald played 53% prior to his exit.)
Though Carroll was hesitant to comment on Hill’s performance immediately after the game, he did say he thought Hill held his own and did his job. On Monday, Carroll re-iterated uncertainty surrounding McDougald, Carson and D.J. Fluker’s status for Week 10. If McDougald can’t go, Hill would again start alongside Tedric Thompson, something Carroll sounded comfortable with following the loss to the Chargers.
Rasheem Green, Jacob Martin play small parts
When Seattle’s inactives were announced on Sunday, the Seahawks’ defensive line depth was questioned. Both Nazair Jones and Poona Ford were inactive, leaving Shamar Stephen and Jarran Reed as the only two defensive tackles active. Quinton Jefferson and Rasheem Green figured to reduce inside on passing downs, giving the team a couple extra bodies inside.
However, Seattle ended up using a shallow rotation. Frank Clark, Stephen, Reed and Dion Jordan played over half the defense’s snaps; Jefferson was just below (47%). Branden Jackson played just 31% of snaps, while Green and Martin saw just 16% of the defense’s snaps.
Green’s small part is understandable, as the rookie is still returning from an ankle sprain that has kept him out for a considerable amount of time. However Martin’s drop in play-time—especially after it was sustained in Week 8 upon Wright’s return—is disappointing. His speed rush has been effective in recent weeks, and should’ve been even more of a threat at home, facing a silent count.
Following a brief home stop for Week 9, the Seahawks head back out onto the road in Week 10, wrapping up their season series against the L.A. Rams on Sunday at 1:25 PM.