C.J. Prosise, the Seahawks spotlight can be all yours

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 13: C.J. Prosise /

The Seahawks may need a big assist from their third-string running back. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s time for C.J. Prosise to shine again.

The Seahawks are off to their first 2-0 start since their championship season. A big part of that success has come from the churning legs of Chris Carson, much like last year. His backfield compatriot Rashaad Penny couldn’t do much against the Bengals but played a key role in the win over the Steelers last week. He may miss the Saints game, though. It’s time for C.J. Prosise to shine again in Seattle.

While Carson is certainly a workhorse, the slashing style of Penny is a great compliment. There’s a legitimate cause for concern if the second-year back can’t go on Sunday. Prosise can certainly play, as he showed with two excellent outings in the final preseason games. The issue has never been about his performance.  Unfortunately, with Prosise, the question has always been his health. Long-term 12s are all too familiar with this saga. For newer fans, a brief breakdown. Oops, probably shouldn’t have used that word.

The Seahawks drafted Prosise out of Notre Dame in the third round of the 2016 draft. He didn’t move to the running back position until his senior year. As he’d played his first two seasons as a wide receiver, Seattle saw him as a two-way back who could burn teams with both his legs and his hands. He proved them right in his finest performance. In just his fifth game, he sliced through the New England Patriots for 66 yards on the ground and another 87 through the air.

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He followed that with a spectacular 72-yard touchdown run the next week versus the Philadelphia Eagles. Prosise got just one more carry before things went very much awry. A broken scapula landed him on injured reserve for the rest of his rookie season. He’d already missed earlier that year with little things like a strained hamstring and a broken wrist. When Prosise misses time, it isn’t for something minor.

But that’s been his issue, his and the Seahawks. Since that second start against the Eagles, Prosise has never made it onto the field for more than five games. Since that 72-yard sprint to the end zone, Prosise has totaled just 21 yards on 14 carries. His career to this point is a litany of injury and what might have been. So why has Seattle kept him in the fold for so long?

It isn’t because he’s a great guy, although he definitely is that. If there’s a charity that Prosise isn’t involved in, it’s only because he hasn’t heard about it yet. Amidst the lovefest for C.J., it’s time for a moment of honesty. Coming into training camp, this was the second year in a row I wondered why the Seahawks didn’t just release him. Thankfully for the Hawks and the 12s, Pete Carroll knows a bit more about football than I do. Make that a stadium-full more.

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Seattle stuck with Prosise because of the crazy potential he has to change a game. With all his injuries, he’s only been able to do it twice so far. After a slow start this offseason, he’s finally been healthy. Make no mistake, Chris Carson will be the workhorse. But with the possibility of Penny missing the Saints contest, it could be time for C.J. Prosise to shine again.