Injuries in Seattle have affected more than just the standings this season. Unfortunately, they’re also having an impact on personnel decisions and the Seahawks’ ability to retain players.
Brandon Frye, who would probably be buried on an NFL depth chart anywhere else, was thrust into a starting role because of injuries to Walter Jones and Sean Locklear. The offensive line has been a mess, but Frye actually stepped in and held his own.
Frye, however, is no longer an option. He had been struggling with a groin injury, but a “stinger” injury suffered against Jacksonville will sideline him for the rest of the season. The Seahawks placed him on the injured reserve earlier this week.
Injuries have depleted Seattle’s depth this season, particularly along the offensive line. The lack of depth forced Seattle to sign tackle Kyle Williams to the active roster, which triggered the decision to release defensive lineman Michael Bennett to make room.
Bennett was expendable; he hasn’t been active during games this season, which obviously means he hasn’t had an impact on the field. But he is a guy you’d like to retain because he showed good potential during the preseason and training camp.
Unfortunately for Seattle, depth is always a priority. Retaining young players with potential is a luxury in a league with a high demand for success and an expectation to win every week.
Bennett didn’t clear waivers after Seattle released him. He was claimed earlier this week by Tampa Bay.
More than likely, these personnel changes won’t become very significant. But who knows? Bennett may develop into a good defensive player who can compete at this level.
Either way, it is unfortunate Seattle’s strategy was dictated by injuries. If the Seahawks weren’t down to their fourth- and fifth-string left tackles on the offensive line, Michael Bennett would still be on the 53-man roster. And I wouldn’t have to speculate about a fringe-player who probably won’t develop into much more than a situational defender in the NFL.
And maybe things won’t work out in Tampa Bay; Bennett could possibly find his way back to Seattle’s practice squad or 53-man roster. Similar to what happened with Justin Forsett in Indianapolis last season.
Fortunately, the Seahawks should get quite a few players back from injury soon. This isn’t like last season, where most of the injured players were out for the remainder of the season. Several players should be healthy following the bye-week.
To add depth to the offensive line, Seattle signed tackle Damion McIntosh after they placed Frye on the injured reserve.
McIntosh is a 32-year old veteran who has played with the Chiefs, Dolphins, and Chargers. He started all 16 games last season in Kansas City. And like most linemen in the league, McIntosh is versatile; he has played both tackle positions, as well as right guard.
McIntosh should offer solid depth until the offensive line recovers from injury. At his age, he won’t come in and steal anyone’s job. But he has shown he is capable of dealing with some of the NFL’s best defenders.
Hopefully, further additions to the offensive line for depth won’t be necessary this season.