While the Seattle Seahawks escaped the Week 15 matchup against the Carolina Panthers with a 30-24 victory, they did suffer a blow that could cause issues in the coming weeks. Quandre Diggs, who has been a revelation at free safety since being acquired from the Detroit Lions at the trade deadline is battling the dreaded high ankle sprain, and the likelihood he plays Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals seems low.
Barring some sort of unexpected development over the coming days, there doesn’t seem to be any question that the second safety spot will be manned by Bradley McDougald, but who will be lined up opposite of him? The potential answers to that question would seem to be either 2019 second round pick Marquise Blair or 2017 third round pick Lano Hill.
Those two have played similar amounts so far during the 2019 season, with Blair logging three starts and 217 defensive snaps, while Hill has started twice and played 181 defensive snaps. That would seem to indicate that Blair might get the nod, but it’s important to keep in mind that Hill was limited by injury earlier in the season, and 199 of Blair’s 217 snaps came while Hill was out. That also lines up with how the team approached things against Carolina after Diggs left the game with injury.
Thus, it would seem that Hill is likely to be the starter, with Blair coming off the bench as needed. And, that “as needed” is not to be scoffed at, as Hill has routinely battled injuries through this point in his young career.
So, expect Hill to be playing alongside McDougald, but don’t be surprised if all of a sudden it’s a McDougland and Blair pairing in the deep secondary.