On Saturday night in Los Angeles, the Seattle Seahawks will play their most important game of the preseason. For 99 percent of the roster, their fate will be decided by the end of the weekend; perhaps just one or two spots will be left up to debate entering the final week of preseason. The Seahawks’ fourth and final game of August will be contested largely by future practice squad candidates, and veterans who don’t fit in Seattle but will attempt to get picked up elsewhere. Those players are either already a victim of numbers or circumstance on the Seahawks, or simply too long of shots to begin with.
These are the players who can be counted out of contention ahead of Seattle’s dress rehearsal:
J.T. Barrett, QB
Barrett is a camp arm by every definition, signed to make up the numbers when Geno Smith missed time to have a cyst removed in his knee. Barrett played 5 snaps against the Vikings, and is highly unlikely to be even a practice squad candidate for the Seahawks.
Xavier Turner, RB
Signed just prior to Seattle’s first game of the preseason, Turner undoubtedly endeared himself to the staff and his teammates by running tough in an entirely unfamiliar system in his debut. Perhaps he’ll catch on elsewhere, but the UDFA played just three snaps in Minnesota with a healthy backfield ahead of him.
Bo Scarbrough, RB
Likely the most noteworthy name on this list, Scarbrough’s inclusion should not come as a surprise. The physically imposing runner offers little upside as a pass catcher, and isn’t going to crack Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny’s rotation on early downs. He scarcely plays on special teams (three snaps against Denver) and isn’t going to make the 53.
Terry Wright, WR
One of two UDFA wideouts signed by the Seahawks following this year’s draft, along with Jazz Ferguson, the diminutive slot receiver made waves early in rookie minicamp and training camp before talk around him quieted, even with a nice kick return in the second game of preseason. Unfortunately for Wright, it’s unlikely he even lands on Seattle’s practice squad, with that spot likely to go to one of Ferguson, Gary Jennings or John Ursua.
Amara Darboh, WR
The Seahawks tried to cut ties with their former third round pick last year, before a bizarre sequence of events saw him go from waived by Seattle, to claimed by the Patriots who then waived him with an injury designation, before his original contract with the Seahawks was reinstated and he reverted to their injured reserve. Regardless, Darboh is yet to feature in preseason and will not feature on Seattle’s 53 in 2019.
Jackson Harris, TE
One of two tight ends added by the Seahawks at the start of August (along with Wes Saxton), Harris has been the less impressive of the two. Saxton himself is a long shot to make Seattle’s roster, meaning Harris is number six of six tight ends on the depth chart, and a certainty not to make the 53.
Brian Wallace, T
Signed by the Seahawks on Wednesday, Wallace, like Barrett, is a camp body there to make up numbers. Wallace’s path to the 53 would be Elijah Nkansah cratering in George Fant’s place—and Fant’s injury suddenly becoming long-term. Even then, one would imagine Seattle would look for a viable option outside their roster.
Landon Turner, G
Turner is essentially in the same boat as Wallace: Signed on Tuesday to replace Demetrius Knox, who was placed on injured reserve, and to help fill out the interior of the line. When everyone ahead of him is healthy, Turner would be 10 of 10 interior linemen—not an option for the 53.
Marcus Martin, G/C
If Turner is 10 of 10, Martin is nine of 10. The former Trojan has featured a considerable amount in preseason for the Seahawks, but he is simply a preseason player for them. Even if extended injuries to Mike Iupati, Phil Haynes and Jordan Simmons created a pathway to the 53 for Martin, that pathway would be blocked by Joey Hunt and Jordan Roos, who are ahead of him.
Jay-Tee Tiuli, DT
The former Eastern Washington standout had a path to the roster ahead of camp, competing at a position group in need of rotational players. However, Tiuli has been outperformed wire to wire by his fellow UDFA Bryan Mone, who is looking more and more certain for the 53 as cut down day approaches.
Demarcus Christmas, DT
The selection of Christmas in the sixth round was curious, as the former Florida State defender simply didn’t fit the profile of a Seattle defensive tackle. Christmas has been unable to play in preseason for the Seahawks, and seems likely to be another one of the strange picks who disappears from Seattle. The practice squad is a possibility, too.
Justin Currie, LB
Currie, as is the case with the next two names on this list, is a victim of a deep position group. There are seven legitimate candidates for six spots, and Currie isn’t one of them. Not helping matters: Currie is yet to feature in preseason.
Jawuan Johnson, LB
Unlike Currie, Johnson has featured in the preseason. Unfortunately, it’s been just 28 snaps on defense. Barring multiple injuries, it’s safe to write off Johnson’s chances of making the 53.
Juwon Young, LB
A UDFA out of Marshall, Young was signed by the Seahawks following the win over the Broncos. In his first game with Seattle, he actually played quite a bit (41%). Perhaps Young can impress enough over the next two games to be a practice squad candidate.
Kalan Reed, CB
The NFL is a cruel business: Just a week ago, Pete Carroll was singing Reed’s praise, touting him as a legitimate part of the competition to replace Justin Coleman. What followed was a six-snap showing against the Vikings, almost certainly ending his participation in that competition.
Jeremy Boykins, CB
Boykins, a long and tall cornerback who spent 2018 on the Seahawks’ practice squad, simply hasn’t shown any real improvement that we can see from last year to now. Though the cornerback group is still fairly open, we can safely say Boykins won’t be a part of it.
Simeon Thomas, CB
Like Boykins, Thomas is a cornerback in the exact mold of a Carroll CB, and he spent time on Seattle’s practice squad last season. But, like Boykins, it’s safe to say Thomas won’t be a part of the 53-man roster following roster cuts. Another year on the practice squad would be wise for both sides, though.
That leaves 72 players (excluding Jarran Reed) competing for 53 spots. Boiling it down further, calling these players surefire locks—Russell Wilson, Carson, Penny, Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, Jaron Brown, Will Dissly, Duane Brown, Germain Ifedi, Jamarco Jones, Fant, Justin Britt, Iupati, Haynes, D.J. Fluker, Poona Ford, Al Woods, Rasheem Green, Ezekiel Ansah, Jacob Martin, L.J. Collier, Quinton Jefferson, Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Cody Barton, Mychal Kendricks, Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Bradley McDougald, Marquise Blair, Ugo Amadi, Jason Myers, Michael Dickson and Tyler Ott—it’s really 38 players competing for 19 spots. That 38 includes players heavily favored to make the roster, such as David Moore, Ben Burr-Kirven, Tedric Thompson and Travis Homer.
But for the majority of those 38, it’ll almost certainly come down to Saturday night.