The spotlight of the Seattle Seahawks preseason isn’t really on Russell Wilson. Or Chris Carson. Or even Shaquem Griffin. It’s been on right tackle Germain Ifedi and the concern that he has not developed from where he was last season and in fact could be backtracking to the point of being one of the worst starters in the NFC. Well, Pete Carroll isn’t ready to concede that Ifedi is even going to be the starter at right tackle, noting that George Fant is now firmly in the competition to win the job outright.
Today George Fant played RT for the first time. “The comp is on,” Pete Carroll said of Germain Ifedi’s job. “We think he’s ready to compete at that spot. That was our thought the whole time.” #Seahawks— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) August 21, 2018
Fant was slated to start at left tackle last season before a torn ACL ended his season prematurely. The injury forced Seattle to start Rees Odhiambo in his place which in turn forced them to send a hefty package over to the Houston Texans in exchange for Duane Brown. The hope was that Fant would be healthy enough by this fall to compete at guard or tackle but talk on him had remained relatively quiet, especially when it came to him moving over to the right side; for the last few weeks, the coaching staff has kept him as a backup to Brown, but that changed on Tuesday.
Carroll now says that the plan the whole time was to give Fant an opportunity to start at right tackle, it just seems like convenient timing now that Ifedi is coming off of a widely-criticized performance against the LA Chargers that has many fans (and arguably Wilson) concerned for the well-being of the offense when things kick off for real in September against the Denver Broncos.
The Seahawks lost rookie Jamarco Jones to a high ankle sprain the required surgery, leaving Willie Beavers and Isaiah Battle as the other options behind Ifedi until now. Fant struggled for much of his rookie season at left tackle but also had very little football experience beyond the high school level. He’s now healthy, potentially in better shape, and playing with less pressure to succeed than he had on Wilson’s blindside.
The job is not Fant’s to lose, but it sure seems that Ifedi is gonna make it the job he’ll win.