Seahawks need both Prosise and Homer to step up for Penny
The Seahawks certainly could have lost a more important player than Rashaad Penny. Regardless, C.J. Prosise and Travis Homer really need to come through.
The Seahawks took another gut punch (bad pun intended) in the injury department last week when Rashaad Penny was ruled out for the season with an ACL injury. It certainly could have been worse, as Penny was the backup to Chris Carson. But Penny was coming off two very good performances. He’d picked up 236 of his season total 453 yards from scrimmage, and finally looked like he could combine with Carson to give the Seahawks the league’s best running attack. Now it’s up to two players on very different tracks, C.J. Prosise and Travis Homer, to help their team win.
C.J. Prosise is on what seems like his 37th chance with Seattle. Despite having joined the team in 2016, he’s never faced the Panthers before today. That’s what happens when you miss 38 of a possible 61 games in your career. I’ve written Prosise off so many times, I’ll probably enter him on my 1040 out of habit. And yet here he is, ready to appear in his eighth game for the Seahawks, extending his season record. He has just 14 carries and nine receptions on the season so far.
With Penny out, he’ll have a much bigger load to carry today against the Panthers. It’s entirely possible he could match either of those marks today alone. I’ll wager that he’ll see many more opportunities in the passing game, though. Prosise has only averaged 3.1 yards per carry, although he does have a touchdown on the ground. He’s been more effective as a receiver, averaging 7.3 yards per catch. I expect the Seahawks to use him much more in the passing game than on the ground. They’ll run him a few times just to keep Carolina’s defense honest.
Why not more of Prosise as a runner? I think Travis Homer is ready, and more to the point, I believe the Hawks think he’s ready too. You don’t trust a rookie to take off on a fake punt in a critical game if you don’t trust him. Homer needed a bit over three yards, and he took off for 29. He’s handled kick return duties the past two games as well, another indication the Seahawks staff has faith in him. He doesn’t have the size of either Carson or Penny, as he’s 20 pounds lighter. The open-field speed and quick burst are both there, though. I see him as an excellent change of pace to spell Carson, and to keep the Panthers on their heels.
Both Prosise and Homer should get plenty of opportunities today. The Panthers aren’t very good against the run. In fact, they rank dead last in both average yards per carry and touchdowns allowed. Chris Carson should have a great game today. But there’s more at stake than a win and a playoff spot. The Seahawks need Carson fresh if they want to do anything other than just make the playoffs. Solid performances by Prosise and Homer will go a long way to that end.