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What’s the story with Rashaad Penny?

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday the Seattle Seahawks dropped their Week 7 contest to the Baltimore Ravens in disappointing fashion, and in doing so slipped further behind the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West. Obviously, it’s still extremely early in the season, and especially with two head to head matchups left against the 49ers, there’s plenty of time for the Hawks to recover from Sunday and compete for the division. However, there’s another question that could easily be front and center heading into Week 8.

What’s the situation with Rashaad Penny?

The Seahawks first round draft pick in 2018, Penny put up decent numbers as the third string running back behind Mike Davis and Chris Carson, but has been virtually non-existent this season. He had been battling a hamstring injury that had limited him to just six carries over the prior four games, however, he was not listed at all on the injury report for Seattle at any point for Week 7.

With his name absent from the injury report, it seems safe to assume that he’s healthy and simply not seeing the field for Seattle, which could be even more alarming than if he were injured. According to Mike Clay of ESPN Penny played just two snaps against Baltimore, finishing with no rushing attempts and no targets.

With C.J. Prosise getting more playing time than Penny Sunday, it may be worth noting that it appears Prosise may not have simply filled in for Penny while Penny was nursing his hamstring injury, Prosise may have stolen the backup running back job.

Rashaad Penny and C.J. Prosise snaps by game in 2019

Week Rashaad Penny C.J. Prosise
Week Rashaad Penny C.J. Prosise
1 14 0
2 25 10
3 0 45
4 0 14
5 12 0
6 0 17
7 2 6

If the Hawks were to trade Penny, it could save a couple hundred thousand in 2019 cap space, while removing a little over $2M in fully guaranteed salary for 2020 and 2021 off the books. A trade between now and the trade deadline on October 29th would leave Seattle with $2.954M in dead money for 2020, but that is just $18,676 more than the cap hit Penny would carry if he is on the roster next season.

In any case, a trade may or may not happen, as it could simply be that the Hawks were being careful with Penny’s hamstring on a cold and wet day. The trade deadline is just eight days away, and there seems likely to be plenty of speculation regarding the Seahawks in that time period. With the roster carrying two running backs who aren’t seeing much action, but in desperate need of a tight end, I’ll be very surprised if a move is not made. The move may not include trading Penny, but it certainly seems like he could be a piece of the puzzle.