Seahawks set to play starters in preseason final
Much to the dismay of the 68,000 fans at Lumen Field on Saturday night, the Seahawks decided to hold the vast majority of their starters for a second straight preseason game. But after an ugly 30-3 loss to the Broncos, quarterback Russell Wilson, linebacker Bobby Wagner and other notable players should finally see the field next weekend.
Speaking to reporters after Saturday’s loss, coach Pete Carroll said the decision to seat Wilson, Wagner and others for the first two games was influenced by the NFL adding an extra week between the pre-season finale and week 1 this year. Sticking to their plan, the starters should have the opportunity to get a few shots in the final dress rehearsal against the Chargers.
“This format was different for us than anything we’ve done before,” Carroll said. “It hasn’t been a lot of fun and fun with the way we play, but the third week is a big deal for us and we’ll get back to a lot of the guys who haven’t played in the first two games to get them ready for the first game of the regular season, that’s been the plan from the start.
In the first two preseason games, Seattle only played a handful of scheduled starters and was especially careful on offense. Aside from Wilson, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett didn’t play at all and the offensive line was mostly made up of second and third string players, with Duane Brown, Gabe Jackson and Brandon Shell not playing at all. Center Kyle Fuller and goaltender Damien Lewis were the only starters to see any snaps on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, in defense, although Jordyn Brooks and Darrell Taylor played plenty of linebacker snaps, the Seahawks were without 13 combined Pro Bowls with Adams, Wagner, Dunlap and Diggs standing on the sidelines with sporty caps.
In total, the Seahawks have rested 27 players against the Broncos. A week earlier, 31 players in the 90-man roster had missed a snap against the Raiders due to injury or rest. Apparently this was on purpose, with the schedule being changed from previous seasons, combined with the fact that the squad has several players who were assaulted during training camp.
Heading into the final, it’s still unclear which of the Seahawks’ starters will play against the Chargers and how many playoffs they will receive. But based on Carroll’s comments after an ugly second performance against a former AFC West rival, fans should have a little more reason to be excited when they return to the stadium next Saturday.
“We have to take all the positive things and keep growing and this week is a little different for us. We’re going to change the format and come out of camp and make it a regular week for us in terms of the pace of the week and give our guys a chance to tune in to what that means, so when matchweek rolls around in a few weeks we’ll be good to start over … we’ll try to make the most of it. “