The Seahawks need more than just a hand in their passing game. They could use several pairs of hands attached to able-bodied receivers.
Seattle played without starters Ben Obomanu and Mike Williams on Sunday, starting Ruvell Martin, who had not caught a pass for the Seahawks this season. The Seahawks ended the game, a 40-21 loss at San Francisco, without flanker Deon Butler, who suffered a broken leg that required surgery.
The mass of injuries at receiver has become so critical you have to wonder if the Seahawks second-guess decisions to cut T.J. Houshmand- zadeh and trade Deion Branch earlier this year.
“I don’t regret it so much,” coach Pete Carroll said Monday. “We thought those were the right things to do at the time.”
Those were long-term decisions made with an eye toward developing younger players and building the roster for the future. But the subtract- ions carried a risk, too, and Seattle is left waiting for Obomanu’s right hand to heal and Williams’ left foot to recover. Both are expected to practice today.
Butler was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. He was replaced on the roster by guard Paul Fanaika, who was signed off Cleveland’s practice squad.
The receiver position changed more than any other on Seattle’s roster. Add in the free-agent departure of Nate Burleson, and Seattle lost its top three receivers from last season in less than eight months.
Branch has flourished in his return to New England, catching five touchdown passes. He caught eight passes for 151 yards on Sunday. Seattle received a fourth-round pick for Branch, considered a high return, with Randy Moss fetching a third-rounder.
The departure of Houshmandzadeh was the most surprising if only because Seattle still will pay him more than $7 million for the 2010 season. Yes, he was high-maintenance, but he was Seattle’s leading receiver last season.
Still, hindsight is the only way to see Seattle being better off by keeping the two veterans.
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