The Seattle Seahawks have made it halfway through their preseason schedule, and while they’ve split those games against the Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings, there are still two more games to go. Over those final two games the competition for the last few roster spots should continue to be fierce, with a lot of attention being paid to the receiver position.
Wide receiver became a position of focus during the offseason when it was first reported that Doug Baldwin had undergone a number of different surgical procedures to repair medical issues that had surfaced during the 2018 season. Then, as the draft drew near, all of a sudden word leaked out that his playing days could be over, and it wasn’t very long before those rumors were confirmed.
The logical step for the team to fill the spot in the slot that Baldwin’s departure left open was the simple one: move Tyler Lockett inside following his breakout 2018 campaign. However, that then creates a follow up question. Lockett was Baldwin’s backup in the slot, and moved inside when Baldwin was unable to play during 2018. Thus, it’s no surprise that he’ll slide inside in order to take over the starting role with Baldwin no longer on the team, which obviously leaves the team looking for a backup. That brings us to the current competition to fill that role that seems to have Keenan Reynolds, Terry Wright and John Ursua battling it out for the right to backup Lockett.
However, none of those three have truly distanced themselves from the others to this point during training camp. Reynolds has no catches on just a single target, Wright has two catches for five yards on four targets and Ursua has caught two of the four passes thrown his way for 48 yards. Ursua also added a nifty end around that gained eight against the Vikings, but there wasn’t a whole lot of anything special that was shown beyond the speed necessary to turn the corner against third and fourth stringers playing in the final minute of a preseason game.
Beyond simply the role on offense the winner of this battle will claim, it also appears as though whoever emerges from this competition will also have a role on special teams. While those receivers battling for an outside spot like Jazz Ferguson and Gary Jennings have not contributed on special teams so far in training camp, all of those who appear in the competition for the slot role are. Against Minnesota Reynolds led the bunch with nine special teams snaps, while Wright had four and Ursua three.
Obviously, there’s still a lot of football to be played over the next ten days as these competitions work towards coming to a conclusion, and for now the amount of information we have available as fans on where each player stands appears extremely limited. Hopefully we’ll be able to get more information when the Hawks take on the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday, and especially when the take on the Oakland Raiders a week from Thursday and the youngsters get a chance to play the majority, if not all, of the game.