A trade to help the Seahawks' offensive line? It's not that simple

September, 23, 2017
Sep 23
8:30
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This has been a popular question -- in one form or another -- in light of the here-we-go-again start for the Seattle Seahawks' offensive line. Really, it's been a popular question for a few years.

As general manager John Schneider will often mention, Seattle's front office prides itself on at least kicking the tires on any move that could improve the team, so it's a safe bet that the Seahawks have looked into potential trades to help them out up front.

But it's not that simple. Availability and cost are issues.

Start with the reality that the NFL has what sure seems to be a shortage of quality offensive linemen, with the general belief being that the proliferation of spread systems in college football is mostly to blame. Offensive linemen in those systems typically aren't asked to play from a three-point stance or fire off the ball, which can leave them ill-prepared for the way the game is played in the NFL.

There really aren't that many to go around in the first place, which means there are even fewer who would be available in a trade. So the Seahawks or any other team trying to upgrade its offensive line this time of the year is going to find it difficult.

That's not to say that trading for an offensive lineman is a non-starter. Seattle has done it twice in the past five weeks, acquiring tackles Matt Tobin from the Philadelphia Eagles and Isaiah Battle from the Kansas City Chiefs. But they're both backups. While they have the potential to become more down the road, they're not the types of players who are going to significantly change the fortunes of an offensive line right away.

With the few who may be available to Seattle and who would constitute a significant upgrade over what the team currently has, the price to acquire them could be prohibitive in terms of draft-pick compensation and/or salary.

Russell WilsonLarry Radloff/Icon SportswireFixing the offensive line issues is no easy task for the Seahawks.

Consider their recent trades. The Seahawks gave up a fifth-round pick for Tobin (and also got a seventh). They gave up a seventh for Battle. If that's what it cost to acquire two backups, then the going rate for an above-average starter is going to be a whole lot steeper. And remember, Seattle no longer has its 2018 second-round pick after parting with it in order to acquire Sheldon Richardson. That will impact the Seahawks' ability and probably their willingness to pull off a significant trade for an offensive lineman.

Even if the Seahawks had their full complement of draft picks, money would be another issue. The Seahawks already cut starting defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin and restructured wide receiver Doug Baldwin's contract in order to make room for Richardson's $8.1 million salary, two things the team would have preferred to not have to do.

Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas is making $8.8 million this season. Left tackle Duane Brown, who is holding out from the Houston Texas, is making $9.4 million. And if he's not willing to play for his own team for that amount, any team that would trade for him would likely have to give him a raise. The Seahawks aren't in a position to take on those types of salaries.

The lesson in all of this is that the time to acquire key pieces to an offensive line is March and April. The Seahawks did that, to some extent, by signing Luke Joeckel and Oday Aboushi in free agency before drafting Ethan Pocic in the second round.

It's much harder to do come September, especially if you're like the Seahawks and you don't have an abundance of draft picks and salary-cap space.

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I get it. Maybe you haven’t rushed to pick up running backs Derrick Henry or Chris Carson yet because they’re stuck in timeshares and your running back depth is still OK.

But don’t wait any longer. Even if you don’t start them in Week 3, they’re the kind of high-upside players worth stashing on your bench. And they might just wind up starting for you in the fantasy playoffs.

As ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter Cameron Wolfe wrote, Henry isn’t the Titans’ starter yet, but he might soon force their hand.

The second-year power runner, who ran for a career-high 92 yards on 14 carries in Week 2, saw his ownership increase from 60.3 percent to 84.7 percent in ESPN leagues. There's a chance he might wind up starting Sunday if veteran DeMarco Murray can’t play because of a hamstring injury. If that happens, Henry’s ownership should creep closer to 100 percent.

Titans coach Mike Mularkey reaffirmed this week that Murray remains the starter when healthy. And as Wolfe pointed out, Murray still is the better pass-blocker and offers proven big-play potential. So he’s not going away anytime soon.

But Murray has gotten off to a slow start (21 carries for 69 yards) while battling hamstring issues since the preseason. And Henry is catching up fast.

Derrick HenryDavid Rosenblum/Icon SportswireDerrick Henry averaged 6.6 yards per carry with a touchdown in the Titans' Week 2 victory at Jacksonville.

As for Carson, the rookie seventh-round draft pick already has emerged as the leading man in the Seattle Seahawks' backfield. He had 20 carries for 93 yards in Week 2, which makes it pretty surprising that he is still owned in only 37.7 percent of ESPN leagues.

Carson’s playing time is a little cloudier because Seattle also has veterans Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy, plus pass-catching back C.J. Prosise. But ESPN Seahawks reporter Brady Henderson said Carson looks like the real deal, “as much as a running back can look like that through two games.”

“He’s going to have a role each week, but I don't know if it'll be 20 carries each week,” said Henderson, who said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll explained that Rawls only played a handful of snaps in Week 2 because he was being eased back in following an ankle injury.

Henderson also wrote a fantastic breakdown this week of whether Lacy could still have a role in the Seahawks’ backfield.

On to the rest of our weekly tour of the best fantasy insight from NFL Nation:

Allen, Perine in next tier: The Baltimore Ravens' Buck Allen and the Washington Redskins' Samaje Perine are two more running backs with some breakout upside.

Allen has made the most of his opportunity with injuries to Danny Woodhead and Terrance West over the past two games. The third-year pro had 66 rushing yards, 35 receiving yards and 1 touchdown in Week 2. And he could be the leading man Sunday in London against the Jacksonville Jaguars if West (calf) can’t play.

The bad news is that West likely will remain the featured goal-line back when healthy, and Woodhead will be the leading backfield pass-catcher when he returns from injured reserve in the second half of the season. But the good news is that Allen always will have some sort of a role because of his versatility.

As for Perine, the rookie ran 21 times for 67 yards in Week 2 after replacing injured starter Rob Kelley (who is questionable Sunday with a rib injury). Perine is the obvious replacement if Kelley is out, and ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim said he thinks Perine ultimately will become the main guy. But Keim stressed it probably won’t happen right away and that Redskins coach Jay Gruden still likes Kelley a lot.

Plus, both of them will lose touches to third-down back Chris Thompson, who is off to a terrific start, highlighted by his 61-yard touchdown run in Week 2. Keim wrote that Thompson’s role won’t increase substantially -- even if Kelley is sidelined -- because of Thompson’s smaller frame and his own injury history. But Keim wrote about how Thompson has continued to improve every season.

Concerns about Howard: Meanwhile, one of the most highly ranked fantasy running backs heading into this season is trending in the opposite direction. The Chicago Bears' Jordan Howard ran for just 7 yards on nine carries in Week 2, has been dropping some passes, is battling a shoulder injury and is losing touches to rookie breakout Tarik Cohen.

ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson wrote that Chicago claims Howard has been running the same way as last season while blaming overall run-game problems. But Dickerson is highly skeptical of the Bears’ assessment and doesn’t have much confidence in a major turnaround.

Big day for Beckham? ESPN New York Giants reporter Jordan Raanan said Odell Beckham Jr. is healthier this week, and points out that the receiver has a history of coming up big when the team needs a victory in a big way. Last season, Beckham went for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns in the second half against the Baltimore Ravens when the Giants were 2-3. ESPN Philadelphia Eagles reporter Tim McManus wrote that the Eagles could have an “Odell problem” without cornerback Ronald Darby available to defend him.

Montgomery a workhorse: For anyone who thought Ty Montgomery's workload might be a concern, ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter Rob Demovsky pointed out that the Packers’ receiver turned running back actually is leading all NFL running backs in snaps. Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he wants to eventually try to cut back on that heavy load. But Demovsky said fantasy owners obviously should play Montgomery with confidence as a bona fide No. 1 back, knowing he’ll be heavily involved in both the run game and passing game.

Quick hitters

RENTON, Wash. -- Michael Bennett has never listened to Pearl Jam, so the Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman didn't know who Mike McCready was until they met last week.

"I didn't realize he was that famous until my wife was like, 'You know he's famous, right?'" Bennett said with a laugh this week. "I was like, 'Oh, OK.'"

McCready, the lead guitarist for the Seattle-based rock band, was set to perform the national anthem before the Seahawks' home opener Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. McCready and Pearl Jam as a whole have heavily supported various causes over the years, including those aimed at promoting social change. He wanted to show his support for Bennett, who has been among the most active of NFL players trying to do the same.

Bennett has sat for the national anthem since the start of the preseason in what he's described as a protest of inequality in America. He did again Sunday as McCready performed. When McCready finished, he turned around his guitar and held it up to reveal Bennett's No. 72 in Seahawks colors pasted on the back.

"We talked about it a couple days before," Bennett said. "He wanted to do something and that was pretty cool that he decided to do that."

Bennett was among the players whose names appeared on a recently leaked memo written to the NFL in August seeking, among other things, for the league to dedicate a month to activism awareness.

McCready told ESPN.com: "I respect Michael Bennett and I support him 100 percent. I'm looking forward to our families spending more time together, and figuring out how to collaborate on some of his foundation's programs for kids."

Bennett appreciates McCready's support.

"Even though we're from two different parts of the world, he's a musician and I'm a football player, for [him to support me] means a lot," he said.

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When asked about his opinion on Titans QB Marcus Mariota Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says, "He doesn't make mistakes down there."

Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham expected to play despite questionable tag

September, 22, 2017
Sep 22
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RENTON, Wash. -- Jimmy Graham will have a chance to break out of his slow start Sunday.

The Seattle Seahawks expect the Pro Bowl tight end to be available for their game against the Tennessee Titans, coach Pete Carroll said, despite Graham being listed as questionable.

Graham twisted his ankle in the Seahawks' win over the San Francisco 49ers last week, leaving the game in the second quarter before returning on Seattle's next possession. He didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday.

Carroll previously said in his weekly interview with Seattle's KIRO Radio 97.3 FM that Graham would be a game-time decision, but he said Friday that Graham is expected to play.

Graham was listed as a full participant in practice Friday.

"He did really well today," Carroll said. "He made it through the whole practice and did everything, practiced full, so he'll be all right."

Graham's ankle injury looked like a potential setback to what has already been a rough start to the season for both him and Seattle's offense. He has only four catches for nine yards on 10 targets over the first two games. The Seahawks have scored only one touchdown and 21 points heading into Sunday's game against the Titans in Nashville.

Cornerback Richard Sherman (hamstring/Achilles) is expected to play after getting Friday off, Carroll said. So is wide receiver Paul Richardson, who practiced all week after dislocating a finger before making the game-winning touchdown catch against San Francisco.

Linebacker Terence Garvin


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Stephania Bell explains Jimmy Graham's status after injuring his ankle and doesn't expect the tight end to play at 100% if he is available in Week 3.
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Mike Clay says Chris Carson needs more targets in order to be a more consistent PPR running back and would utilize him as a flex play.

Russell Wilson feels Seahawks' offense is only 'a few plays away'

September, 22, 2017
Sep 22
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videoRENTON, Wash. -- Russell Wilson has an unwavering optimism that's matched inside Seattle Seahawks headquarters by his head coach, Pete Carroll. So you wouldn't expect the quarterback to express anything other than confidence that Seattle's slow start on offense won't last.

"I think we’re a few plays away," Wilson said Thursday. "If you go back to the Green Bay game, we had a few plays we could’ve made there. In this past game, we could’ve been up pretty quickly, and we have all the confidence in the world in what we’re doing and in our players and coaches and what we’re trying to do."

Indeed, opportunities have been there for a Seattle offense that has scored only one touchdown and 21 points over the first two games.

The Seahawks had to settle for field goals in their only two trips inside the red zone in a Week 1 loss to the Green Bay Packers. One of those trips could have ended in a touchdown if officials had flagged Green Bay for pass interference against tight end Jimmy Graham, which would have set up a first-and-goal from the 1. And Graham dropped a catchable pass on a third-down play in the fourth quarter, forcing Seattle to punt instead of getting a fresh set of downs in Packers territory.

Those plays could have made a significant difference in a game Seattle lost, 17-9.

Dropped passes held Seattle's offense back in a much bigger way in the 12-9 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, which was played in wet conditions at CenturyLink Field. Wide receiver Tanner McEvoy and running back C.J. Prosise each had two drops, including one apiece either in the end zone or near the goal line to deny the Seahawks a potential touchdown on two of their first three possessions.

Russell WilsonOtto Greule Jr/Getty ImagesThe Seahawks have scored just 21 points in two games, but Russell Wilson thinks they are on the cusp.

Those drops, and the uncharacteristic misfires from Wilson on Sunday, aren't likely to be recurring issues. But they nonetheless contributed to the Seahawks going only 1-of-3 in the red zone Sunday, making them 1-of-5 on the season.

"I think that we can score more touchdowns," Wilson said ahead of Sunday's visit to the Tennessee Titans. "The good thing is, everybody’s talking about how we’re not scoring or anything like that, but we’ve been down there several times."

The Seahawks' offense has been missing big plays in the passing game. Wilson has completed only 31.8 percent of his attempts thrown more than 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. According to ESPN Stats & Information, that ranks 30th in the NFL and is far below Wilson's completion rate of 55.6 percent on such throws last season, which ranked fifth. Wilson is averaging only 6.5 yards per attempt on those throws, less than half of his previous career average of 13.1.

Drops have been a factor there, but so have Seattle's issues in pass protection. Wilson has been either sacked or under duress on 39 percent of his dropbacks, which is the third-highest rate in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Deep throws take time to develop, and Wilson hasn't always enjoyed time behind what's been a shaky offensive line. Only one of his 39 attempts Sunday traveled more than 20 yards downfield. The Seahawks mostly had to dink and dunk their way to 198 yards passing against the Niners.

But Wilson has still had his chances, with one notable example being a deep ball in Green Bay that he overthrew to an open Tyler Lockett, who had gotten a few steps behind the defense and likely would have scored.

"I think it’s all of us just trying to ... come together," Wilson said. "It starts with me and just trying to find ways to make one or two more plays, and that’s how you break the game open. It’s really that simple; it’s not a complicated thing.”

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Three of the players whose names appeared on an August memo seeking a push from the NFL into social activism struck an amicable but businesslike tone Thursday, saying there was no bigger platform from which to achieve their goals.

Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins called it an "opportunity for us, being a sport that brings people together naturally to also use that ability to actually effectuate some real change."

"One of the main things for us is changing the narrative and controlling the narrative," said Jenkins, who joined Eagles receiver Torrey Smith and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett in commenting a day after news broke of the memo, which outlined a series of goals it hoped to achieve in conjunction with the NFL, including designating November "a month of Unity" when individual teams would "engage and impact the community in their market."

"I think one of the reasons you've seen players protesting is because there is no bigger platform than the NFL," Jenkins said. "And to be able to use that exposure and educate people to what's going on around the communities is huge. That can be even more amplified if the NFL actually steps in and helps aid that education to the public about what's going on in these cities that NFL stadiums are in."

Bennett said it "takes a lot for a business or an organization to get behind certain issues," but that he felt he had the support of commissioner Roger Goodell "as a person and a player."

"I've never had an issue with him," Bennett said. "We've always had good conversations since I've known him."

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, who was asked if there were any plans to make this upcoming November the "Month of Unity" as has been proposed, said the league continued to speak directly with the players but wouldn't comment further.

"These conversations are private," McCarthy said.

Yahoo! Sports reported


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Stephen A. Smith says there is no rhythm with the Seahawks offense to start the season and it comes down to Pete Carroll not investing in the offensive line.

Eddie Lacy could still have a role in Seahawks' backfield

September, 21, 2017
Sep 21
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RENTON, Wash. -- Eddie Lacy said he found out that he'd be inactive for last Sunday's game a few hours before everyone else did. He was about to board the Seattle Seahawks team bus headed for CenturyLink Field when running backs coach Chad Morton broke the news to him.

Lacy then watched from the sideline while wearing street clothes as Thomas Rawls started and rookie Chris Carson got the majority of the work for the second straight week, gaining 93 yards on 20 carries to help the Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers, 12-9.

"There's no positive way to take it, but I was the most positive I could be," Lacy said Wednesday about his reaction to being a healthy scratch. "It was my first time that's happened to me or whatever, so I really don't know what think of it. Just do what I can do."

It was a move that few could have imagined when Lacy signed a one-year, $4.25 million deal with the Seahawks in March to be their lead back, or at least their co-lead back. But he played on only seven offensive snaps and had five carries (for 3 yards) in the opener against Green Bay before being benched a week later. With Carson emerging in the first two weeks and Rawls now back from injury, Lacy's role in Seattle's backfield -- and even his future with the team -- seems up in the air.

There are no obvious answers.

What Carroll is saying

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, for what it's worth, has described Lacy being inactive as merely a matchup-based decision and not an indication that he's permanently buried on the depth chart.

"You only have so many spots," he said Sunday in reference to game-day rosters being limited to 46 of the 53 players. "We wanted to see Thomas come back, and that was what the decision was, and there were a couple other things that entered into that, too. It's not like it has to be that way all the time, but it was in this game. I hate that he wasn't out there. I love Eddie, and he wanted to be part of it. But in this matchup with the guys that were healthy and all that, this was the way we had to go."

Carroll was noncommittal on Wednesday when asked what Lacy's role will be this week.

"There are roster issues; there's numbers," he said. "We can’t just put everyone up that you want to. We don’t have that freedom, but there's times in the year when that all gets knocked around, like with the players that are injured and all of that. But we're pretty full boat right now, so we have to make those decisions at the end of the week.”

Eddie LacyJoe Robbins/Getty ImagesEddie Lacy, signed to a one-year, $4.25 million contract in March, was a healthy scratch last Sunday.

The injury factor

The fact that the Seahawks are as well-stocked as they are at running back has contributed to speculation in recent days that Lacy could be released now that Carson and Rawls seem to be the preferred options.

However, Rawls and third-down back C.J. Prosise both have extensive injury histories, missing a combined 17 games last season. The Seahawks' backfield as a whole was plagued by injuries in 2016 to the point that nine tailbacks got at least one carry. With that history still fresh on the Seahawks' minds, it makes sense to keep Lacy as insurance, even if he doesn't have a significant role.

The financial implications

The Seahawks don't have significant financial incentive to release Lacy.

His contract includes $2.865 million in guarantees, which includes a $1.5 million signing bonus and a $1.365 million base salary.

It also includes up to $1 million in per-game active bonuses, which is $62,500 each time he's active on game day; three remaining weight bonuses worth $55,000 apiece; and up to $1.2 million in rushing incentives. The Seahawks would save on all of those by releasing Lacy. However, they could keep Lacy on their roster and continue to make him inactive on game days, which would save money on his per-game active bonuses as well as his rushing incentives that he'd have no shot at reaching.

Lacy's contract includes an offset, according to ESPN's Roster Management System. That means that if he were to be released and was then signed by another team, the Seahawks would be responsible for the difference between the remainder of his $1.365 million salary and the value of his new contract. And that money that would free up would have to be spent on another player to take Lacy's spot on the roster, so the net savings would be minimal.

Seahawks have cut bait before

Two of Seattle's recent free-agent busts come to mind when looking ahead to how the team may proceed with Lacy.

Two years ago, the Seahawks cut cornerback Cary Williams in the first year of a contract that guaranteed him $7 million. They did the same thing last year with offensive lineman J'Marcus Webb, who had signed a deal that offseason that included $2.45 million guaranteed. In each case, the Seahawks released the player even though there was no immediate financial benefit.

That shows the Seahawks are willing to cut bait when a free-agent addition isn't working. Those moves, though, were made much later in the season. Lacy might still have time to prove he belongs.

"He's ready to get after it and compete and battle back," Carroll said. "He respects Thomas Rawls. He understands. [Being inactive is] not what he wants. I don't want him to accept it. I want him to be wanting to get back out there with everything he's got, and that's exactly the way he should be competing. I wish we could have had him up. We could have used him."video

NFL players seeking month dedicated to social activism

September, 21, 2017
Sep 21
12:42
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A group of four players sent the NFL a memo in August requesting league support and asking for a month to be dedicated to social activism, not long after commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly had talked to several players regarding their game-day activism efforts.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and wide receiver Torrey Smith, and former Arizona Cardinals wideout Anquan Boldin co-authored a 2,740-word document intended to push the NFL to honor activism in an effort "similarly to what the league already implements for breast cancer awareness, honoring military, etc."

The letter was obtained by Yahoo! Sports and originally published Wednesday night.

"We would like November to serve as a month of Unity for individual teams to engage and impact the community in their market," the memo states.

The letter was prepared shortly after Goodell spoke with several players who had protested on game day before the regular season kicked off, the Yahoo! report stated, citing two sources.

"For us, support means: bear all or part of the weight of; hold up; give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act. We need support, collaboration and partnerships to achieve our goal of strengthening the community," the letter stated.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy issued a statement on Goodell's visit to Philadelphia, where he and Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie accepted an invitation by Jenkins to take a closer look at the city's justice system.

"Commissioner Goodell has been talking with players for some time about social justice issues and how to recognize the progress and the important work of our players in their communities across the country," McCarthy said in the statement.

"Malcolm invited the commissioner to Philadelphia a couple weeks ago to see and share in what they've been doing to impact criminal justice reform. Joined by Mr. Lurie, the Commissioner spent the day along with Malcolm and others meeting with community leaders and representatives of law enforcement. The commissioner is grateful to our players both for sharing their experiences and for all the important work they are doing in the community."

The meeting in Philadelphia occurred after the memo was sent to Goodell by the four players.

Bennett, Jenkins, Smith and Boldin either didn't return requests for comment to Yahoo! or declined to discuss the memo, citing an agreement to keep talks private, according to the website.

The league declined to comment on the memo to Yahoo! Sports but told ESPN's Josina Anderson on Thursday that "We are continuing to work directly with the players. These are private conversations."

Boldin retired in late August, two weeks after signing a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills


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Seahawks' Pete Carroll ropes media into Competition Wednesday

September, 21, 2017
Sep 21
12:08
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RENTON, Wash. -- Inside the auditorium at the Seattle Seahawks' headquarters, a basketball hoop hangs over the front of the stage. Nothing is more important to coach Pete Carroll in the way he runs a team than competition, and this is where some of the more spirited competitions between his players take place.

Carroll changed up the start of his weekly news conference on what he calls Competition Wednesday by having two media members get in on the competition. Before talking about his team's upcoming matchup with the Tennessee Titans (1-1) in Nashville, Carroll orchestrated a surprise shoot-off between Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times and Curtis Crabtree of Sports Radio KJR-AM 950 and Pro Football Talk.

Pictures of the two that were taken from the team's "media combine" were displayed on a projector as Carroll laid out the rules.

Each took 30-second turns shooting while another media member served as rebounder and music blared from the speakers.

Condotta prevailed in an instant classic, hitting three shots to Crabtree's two.

Carroll's assessment: "I thought that they both kind of started slow and then kind of fizzled out from there."

He then looked at cornerback Richard Sherman, who was seated in the auditorium awaiting a turn at the podium for his weekly media session.

"Sherman will have to see the film so he can critique," Carroll joked. "We had a little shoot-off in here, so he might want to check them out. I thought the rebounding was below par, too.”

Ankle injury adds to rough start for Seahawks' Jimmy Graham

September, 20, 2017
Sep 20
10:24
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RENTON, Wash. -- Four catches for nine yards is not how the Seattle Seahawks or Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham envisioned the first two games of the season going.

Neither is an ankle injury that now has Graham's status uncertain as Seattle prepares for its Week 3 game against the Tennessee Titans.

Coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday the team "will wait a couple days to see how he does. He’s had the same injury before and we think he’s got a chance to do it. His mind is that he can play but we will have to wait and see later in the week.”

Jimmy GrahamOtto Greule Jr/Getty ImagesJimmy Graham had just one catch for one yard Sunday and has just four for nine yards through two games.

Graham was among seven Seahawks who didn't practice Wednesday, a list that also includes middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (thigh), guard Luke Joeckel (knee) and wide receiver Doug Baldwin, whom Carroll said was absent to tend to a family matter.

Cornerback Richard Sherman (hamstring) was listed as a full participant, as was wide receiver Paul Richardson, who dislocated a finger before catching the winning touchdown Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. Carroll was optimistic about Richardson's availability, noting that he made a "ridiculous" catch in the morning walk-through, "so I would think he’s going to be fine.”

Graham's status is less certain. He was injured in Sunday's first half when his left ankle was pinned down as he was falling backward, causing it to twist awkwardly. He stayed down in pain, then began walking off the field only to go down again on his way toward the sideline. The 30-year-old eventually walked off on his own power and appeared to be limping when he returned to the game on Seattle's next possession.

Carroll said the injury limited Graham for the remainder of the game. Asked Wednesday if the injury is a sprain, Carroll said: “Yeah, he’s got an ankle issue.”

It's a setback to what's already been a rough start to the season for Graham.

He caught three passes for eight yards in Seattle's Week 1 loss to the Green Bay Packers. That came on eight official targets, though one was actually a throwaway and another came on a play that arguably warranted a defensive pass-interference penalty that wasn't called. But Graham also had a costly drop on a third-down throw in the fourth quarter of that game, a mistake Seattle couldn't afford on a day in which its offense had little margin for error.

Against San Francisco, Graham dropped the first of his two targets when he took a hard hit over the middle. He finished with one catch for one yard.

“That’s not what we would expect to have happen," Carroll said Sunday when asked about Graham's minimal production through two games. "He had some good chances today. They got him, hit him really good on one seam route and all that. It will be fine. I’m not worried about it at all.”

Graham is in the final year of his contract, which the Seahawks inherited when they acquired him in a 2015 trade with the New Orleans Saints. His slow start has raised anew what have been recurring questions about his future with the team and his fit in the Seahawks' offense, even though he's coming off a Pro Bowl season that included 65 receptions for 923 yards and six touchdowns.

"He’s one of the best tight ends in the game," quarterback Russell Wilson said Sunday, "and we have full confidence in what he’s doing and what he’s going to be able to do for us as we continue to go through this season.”

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