Three Seahawks that took giant steps in preseason Week 1 toward making 2023 roster

Several Seahawks had standout games against the Minnesota Vikings and put themselves in a position to make the team.
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The fan favorite Huskie returns to the Seahawks

Ben Burr-Kirven, linebacker. No, you haven't fallen into a wormhole and been transported back to 2019, when the Hawks first drafted Washington linebacker Burr-Kirven in the fifth round. At the time of the draft, I graded his selection an A, and I'll stand by that grade today. Yes, he's a little undersized at 6'0" and 230 pounds. Yep, with a 4.56 40 time he's a little slower than others. As I wrote then, Burr-Kirven holds up as a nice comparison for former Dolphins great Zach Thomas. No, I didn't expect BBK to match the newly elected Hall of Famer's career, but he had similar tools. The man could play football.

Ben Burr-Kirven only got 4 snaps on defense in his two seasons with the Seahawks, but he was a demon on special teams. You have to remember that BBK was trying to break into a lineup that started Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, and Mychal Kendricks. There was depth too in Cody Barton and Shaquem Griffin, and just three linebacker spots. In 2020 Jordyn Brooks made his impressive debut in Seattle. Burr-Kirven was a victim of the numbers game, but it looked like he was headed for more playing time.

Then he became an injury victim. In a preseason game in 2021, he tore his ACL and did significant nerve damage as well. Significant, as in he was told he'd never play football again. He underwent nerve replacement surgery and battled back through two years of grueling therapy to return to Lumen Field. As Gregg Bell reported for The News Tribune (paywall alert), the Hawks were thrilled to see him back. Pete Carroll made him a team captain for the Vikings game, saying, “It’s an inside and personal deal for all of us, to see him have made it back after it was such a long haul for him. Excited for his chances.”

Burr-Kirven looked great in the game, as he helped shut down multiple Minnesota drives with big hits. Even more telling is what Quandre Diggs had to say about the return of Burr-Kirven. Quoted in the same article by Bell, Diggs said, “Just knowing the road he’s been through the last two years and being able to stay in touch with him over all this time, it’s been cool. I’m excited for him.”

I mean, of course, Diggs kept in touch for two years with a teammate that was told he'd never play again. On Burr-Kirven's first day of practice after two years away from the game, Diggs had this to say to rookie players: “This guy is a menace on special teams.” Diggs added, “So some of these younger guys and younger linebackers that think ‘Oh I’ve arrived', well, BBK is back. So be alert for him going out there and taking people’s reps." Oh, he'll be taking reps alright.