During the 2019 season one of the biggest complaints of many fans of the Seattle Seahawks was that they wanted the team to dip into its tackle to give the backups a shot. While Duane Brown has handled the left tackle role since his arrival from the Houston Texans in 2017, on the other side of the line many fans could not wait to see anyone other than Germain Ifedi get a shot at playing. Whether it was George Fant or Jamarco Jones, there was no shortage of calls for the team to let anyone other than Ifedi man the position.
However, with Ifedi having departed to be the starting right guard for the Chicago Bears and George Fant set to be the starter at right tackle for the New York Jets, 2020 is set to see different names behind Brown. Brandon Shell was brought in from the Jets to be the starter on the right side, with Cedric Ogbuehi signed to be the swing tackle and sixth offensive lineman when the team goes jumbo. Unfortunately, Seattle fans will have to wait until at least next week before they get to see how well Ogbuehi is able to fill that role, as he is listed as out for the Week 1 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.
Full #Seahawks injury report with today's practice participation. The Phillip Dorsett foot injury is something the WR has had for a while, but the team did not know about when they signed him this offseason from NE pic.twitter.com/2Kcr7MKp6V— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) September 11, 2020
That makes it all but certain that Jamarco Jones will be active against the Falcons on Sunday, even though he was a limited participant in practice on Thursday and Friday due to illness. Jones currently represents the only depth at tackle on the active roster behind Brown and Shell, so depending on exactly how sick Jones is, it may not be a surprise to see the team promote Chad Wheeler from the practice squad to the active roster for the game. Some may be worried about the fact that Brown was limited in practice on Wednesday, did not participate at all on Thursday and was again a limited participant on Friday, but that shouldn’t be a concern. Brown has been playing left tackle for a long time, and he’s got enough reps in the system and enough rapport with left guard Mike Iupati that they should be fine.
The simple fact is that Brown turned 35 in August and is at the age where the overwhelming majority of lineman have already called it a day. He knows his job, is very good at it, and as long as the team manages his knee properly, there isn’t a whole lot of further development that would be taking place in practice against the Seattle defensive front. Managing Brown’s workload in practice can also help the Seahawks get more work in for the guys behind him, including Jones and Wheeler, so as long as he’s able to go on Sundays, it doesn’t sound like Brown will be practicing a whole lot this season.
Pete Carroll said of Duane Brown not practicing Thursday: "We’ve really managed him all the way through camp. We’re just working him through a schedule." Sounds like we'll be seeing this all year. #Seahawks— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) September 11, 2020
In short, the Seahawks are remarkably healthy heading in to Week 1, and hopefully they emerge from the matchup against the Falcons the same way.