J.D. McKissic has been on the roster for the Seattle Seahawks since just before the Week 16 2016 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, and his small stature has always made him unique among Hawks running backs under Pete Carroll. In fact McKissic’s 46 rushing attempts during the 2017 season represent more than half of the rushing attempts by a Seahawks running back weighing less than 208 pounds since the start of the 2013 campaign, a span that now covers six full seasons.
In any case, there has been a somewhat vocal outcry on social media for McKissic to take on a larger role as a receiver out of the backfield in the system of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. McKissic entered the NFL as a wide receiver, after having recorded just shy of 300 receptions (289 to be exact) at Arkansas State, including eclipsing the century mark in catches during his freshman year.
However, the Hawks used McKissic sparingly in 2018 as he recovered from a foot injury, but it brings to the forefront a key question, which is whether McKissic is a receiver or a running back. The Seahawks have him listed on the roster as a running back, as they have had him listed since his arrival in Seattle after being claimed on waivers. That said, while he’s listed on the roster as a running back and he certainly wears a running back number, 21, in every release regarding snap counts played in each game this season, McKissic was not listed as a running back.
Specifically, in every snap count release, he’s listed as a wide receiver. Starting with his Week 13 debut against the San Francisco 49ers.
And then again in the Week 14 win over the Minnesota Vikings.
Once again listed as a wide receiver following the Week 15 road loss to the Niners.
And then the Sunday Night Football victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 16.
And then finally the victory over the Arizona Cardinals in the regular season finale played in Week 17.
So, maybe it’s simply a quirk of the system the NFL uses to report snap counts, or perhaps McKissic simply wants to continue to wear the number 21, which is not a number that the NFL allows receivers to wear. In any case, it is certainly interesting and intriguing that McKissic is consistently reported as a wide receiver, while listed on the roster as a running back.
Regardless of what the answer to the running back or wide receiver question is, I don’t truly care what position they list him as playing, as long as he is given more time on the field going forward.