The news of Sidney Rice’s season ending knee injury created mixed opinions among fans and analysts. While some argued that Rice had a limited impact in the Seahawks run first offense others pointed out that at 6’4″ Rice was Seattle’s only big target receiver. In either case one of Seattle’s starting receivers is lost for the season which means somebody needs to step up. The Seahawks hope Jermaine Kearse is that guy for now.
If there was a Preseason MVP award Jermaine Kearse probably would have been near the top of the list after his impressive performances in both the passing game and special teams during that four game span. Unfortunately, prior to Rice’s injury Kearse was relegated to the dreaded fourth receiver spot on the depth chart. However, with Rice out Kearse will get his opportunity to show that the hometown kid from the University of Washington has a larger role to play in Seattle’s offense.
So what contribution will Kearse likely be able to make? If his game against Tampa Bay is any indication, then Kearse might become a real red zone scoring threat. While he did have a costly kick return fumble, he made up for it with a crucial touchdown reception. In fact, so far this season Kearse has 10 catches and 3 of them are for touchdowns. If 30% of your receptions put six points on the board it’s probably safe to say you’re a go to guy in the red zone.
The only downside to Kearse’s increase in playing time is that it might be short lived. Once Percy Harvin makes his much anticipated debut Kearse will probably be fighting for limited minutes once again. Until that happens hopefully he can use this opportunity to showcase his potential. The Seahawks may need him to provide valuable minutes in the future.