The Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints faced off at the Superdome in Week 5 on Sunday, with the home team coming away with a 39-32 victory in a game that saw several members of the Hawks roster get some extra playing time. Unfortunately, much of that extra playing time came as a result of a rash of injuries, so news on the specifics of how much time certain players will miss will be key in the coming days.
Starting out on the offensive side of the ball, the team was forced to turn to Phil Haynes at guard when Gabe Jackson left the game with a hip flexor injury. However, the big injury is, of course, Rashaad Penny having likely broken his leg, meaning the lead running back role now belongs to second round pick Ken Walker.
Also noteworthy is that with Marquise Goodwin out due to injury, second year wide receiver Dee Eskridge played 25 offensive snaps, the third highest total to this point in his career. The only games in which he has seen the field more on offense were when he was in for 40 snaps in the 20-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14 of 2021, which came the week after he saw the field for 28 snaps in the 33-13 win over the Houston Texans during his rookie season. Unfortunately, Eskridge did not generate any offensive production on those 25 snaps, garnering only a single target that he did not pull in, but at least getting on the field is a step in the right direction. Of course, the team did not have a lot of options at the position, given the fact that Goodwin and Dareke Young were inactive with injuries, and once Penny Hart went down with an injury the Seahawks had only three wide receivers available.
As for the defense, fans were adamant regarding their desire for Josh Jones to be ushered to the bench and for Ryan Neal to get his snaps. That indeed happened, with Neal one of four defensive players to be on the field for every snap, while Jones was relegated to situational duty on defense while also playing significant special teams snaps.
In addition, Artie Burns finally made his Seattle debut, playing 16 snaps at left cornerback in a rotation of sorts with Mike Jackson at the position. He did not make the box score, however, for a cornerback that can be a good thing, given that it means he did not have to tackle a receiver after giving up a catch. Of course, it also means he may not have been a factor against the run, but that will have to wait for a film review.
Also on defense, 2022 second round outside linebacker Boye Mafe played 35 defensive snaps to 2020 second round outside linebacker Darrell Taylor’s 44, which means that if Taylor continues to fail to make his presence known, it won’t be a surprise if Mafe continues to see his playing time increase.
Turning to special teams, no big surprises here, with Nick Bellore and Cullen Gillaspia, the team’s dangerous duo of linebacker-fullback hybrids led the way, along with Tanner Muse, who is carving out a nice role for himself with the group.
Undrafted free agent Joey Blount and waiver claim cornerback Isaiah Dunn were each above twenty special teams snaps as well.