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Analysis: Projecting the Seattle Seahawks’ 53-man roster ahead of their third preseason game

UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 21, 2019, 5:55 p.m.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll throws a football on the field before an NFL preseason football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Minneapolis. (Jim Mone / AP)
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll throws a football on the field before an NFL preseason football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Minneapolis. (Jim Mone / AP)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

SEATTLE – If a few unexpectedly good performances made projecting the Seahawks’ 53-man roster that much tougher after week one, injuries and a few staggers at Minnesota added to the challenge following the second preseason game.

But projecting is what we do here.

So here’s our best guess at putting it all together following Sunday’s 25-19 loss to the Vikings.

Quarterbacks

Keep: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith.

Cut: Paxton Lynch, J.T. Barrett.

Comment: Lynch didn’t have a ton of help against the Vikings, but also missed a few things that were there, and this didn’t feel like the big taking-advantage-of-an-opportunity that it could have been. I had the team keeping Smith after last week, anyway, since one week seemed like too little to make a change yet. Smith didn’t play against the Vikings, but it sounds like he’ll be back for the Chargers. This week could allow him to solidify the job – or leave it that much more open for the final week of the preseason, when Lynch and Smith will probably get all the snaps. Barrett isn’t a factor yet.

Running backs

Keep: Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Bo Scarbrough, Nick Bellore, Travis Homer.

Cut: C.J. Prosise, J.D. McKissic, Xavier Turner.

Comment: I’m adding Homer this week after he got healthy and showed some a few things late in the game against the Vikings. For now, he may be the leader in the race for the third-down/2-minute back spot, with the inability of Prosise and McKissic to get healthy. Scarbrough didn’t play against the Vikings. But he was off to a nice start early in the Denver game and for now, I’m keeping him.

Receivers

Keep: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Gary Jennings, David Moore, Jaron Brown.

Cut: Jazz Ferguson, Amara Darboh, John Ursua, Terry Wright, Malik Turner, Keenan Reynolds.

Comment: I’m back to five receivers, cutting Ferguson this week after what was somewhat of a struggle against the Vikings – just two receptions on seven targets, including a drop and a fumble after one of his two catches. And I’m also going with the idea that Ferguson, Ursua and Wright could all make it through to the practice squad. The rotations Sunday indicated that if there were to be a sixth receiver kept, it would be Turner. The one big complication here, suddenly, is Metcalf’s health. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said there’s a chance he’ll be ready for the first game. But if not, the Seahawks will have to think about how they put the roster together to make sure they have enough weapons for Wilson. Darboh, a third-round pick in 2017 for whom there was some momentary excitement in the spring, hasn’t played in the preseason.

Tight ends

Keep: Will Dissly, Nick Vannett, Jacob Hollister.

Cut: Ed Dickson, Jackson Harris, Wes Saxton.

Comment: No change here, although much will depend on Dickson’s health. Seattle can save some money releasing him. But if he’s healthy and given some of the issues at other spots, they may want to keep around a proven playmaker.

Offensive line

Keep: Duane Brown, D.J. Fluker, Justin Britt, Mike Iupati, Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Ethan Pocic, Jamarco Jones, Joey Hunt.

Cut: Marcus Martin, Demetrius Knox, Jordan Roos, Elijah Nkansah, Jordan Simmons.

Physically unable to perform (PUP) list: Phil Haynes.

Comment: Here’s another position at which health issues are suddenly complicating things. Jones has had trouble staying healthy and didn’t play against the Vikings, it’s unclear exactly when Fant will return, and Iupati remains sidelined with a calf issue after already battling a nagging foot injury. The health issues are one reason I’m again keeping nine – they are going to need to know they have at least seven healthy for week one. But it won’t be a surprise if the Seahawks try to add some bodies here to beef up the healthy depth.

Defensive line

Keep: Ezekiel Ansah, L.J. Collier, Poona Ford, Al Woods, Quinton Jefferson, Rasheem Green, Cassius Marsh, Bryan Mone, Branden Jackson, Jacob Martin, Barkevious Mingo.

Cut: Jamie Meder, Nazair Jones, Jay-Tee Tiuli, Earl Mitchell.

Suspended list: Jarran Reed.

PUP list: Demarcus Christmas.

Comment: The one switch this week is keeping Bryan Mone and cutting veteran Earl Mitchell. Mone’s roughly 350 pounds give the Seahawks a unique size dimension that Carroll spoke enthusiastically about this week. There’s been much discussion about Mingo. But he had one nice rush against the Vikings, as well as a solo tackle on special teams, where it looks like he’ll be needed. Mingo also serves as depth at the strongside linebacker spot, if needed (as does Martin, to a lesser degree). Health issues regarding Collier and Ansah and how much depth Seattle needs to keep around for week one should become a little clearer this week.

Linebackers

Keep: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Mychal Kendricks, Austin Calitro, Cody Barton.

Cut: Shaquem Griffin, Ben Burr-Kirven, Justin Currie, Jawuan Johnson, Juwon Young.

Comment: I’m back to just five true linebackers, with the caveat noted above, that both Mingo and Martin can also play linebacker. For now, that means making what I know is the unpopular choice of waiving both Shaquem Griffin and Burr-Kirven. Griffin suddenly has a knee issue and that might, unfortunately, help solve the roster logjam somewhat if it is something that would keep him out for a while. Calitro can backup both inside spots, and Barton is healthy and got a lot of work at MLB this week.

Cornerbacks

Keep: Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Akeem King, Neiko Thorpe, Jamar Taylor.

Cut: Jeremy Boykins, Simeon Thomas, Kalan Reed.

Comment: I’m keeping five cornerbacks this week, which allows me to retain both King and Taylor. Taylor was the leader of the week at the nickel spot. He gave up a TD against the Vikings on a play in which he was also called for a penalty. But on further review, it seemed as if the penalty could have gone the other way. King has played both outside and the nickel, and Thorpe continues to make it as a special-teams dynamo and reserve corner.

Safeties

Keep: Bradley McDougald, Tedric Thompson, Marquise Blair, Ugo Amadi, DeShawn Shead.

Cut: Shalom Luani, Jalen Harvey, Lano Hill.

Comment: For now, McDougald and Thompson seem entrenched as the starting duo. Blair is suddenly battling a back issue, and if that’s significant, then that could change the roster composition here. Amadi has a lot of versatility and a seemingly big future, and had another great special-teams play. The really tough call here is Shead or Hill for the final spot. I’m going with Shead this week, with Hill still having had yet to play. Shead had another big play with the 88-yard pick six, a week after scoring on a safety. He also got beaten a few times. But his experience and versatility – and appearing to show the knee isn’t an issue – give him the lead this week.

Special teams

Keep: PK Jason Myers, P Michael Dickson, LS Tyler Ott.

Comment: These are the only kicker, punter and snapper the Seahawks have on the roster, so the special-teams battery is set.

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