Arrow-right Camera
Subscribe now
Seattle Seahawks

Drew Lock returns to Seahawks practice, but it’s not known if he’ll start preseason finale

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock scrambles out of the pocket in the fourth quarter during a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium on Aug. 13, 2022, in Pittsburgh.  (Getty Images)
Bob Condotta Seattle Times

RENTON — Maybe, finally, this can be Drew Lock week for the Seattle Seahawks.

The Seahawks planned to start Lock against the Bears on Thursday to give him his marquee opportunity in the quarterback competition with Geno Smith before he tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday and had to miss the game.

Lock, who coach Pete Carroll said had been hit “pretty hard’’ by COVID, was back at practice Sunday and participated fully, alternating series with the number one offense with Smith.

“He did OK,’’ Carroll said. “He seemed to bounce back. He’s six, seven days into it now, so he’s in good shape as far as getting back. But you never know until you get out there and start running around. He hung in there pretty tough. So it was good.’’

As Carroll noted, the team gave Lock a normal workload after seeing that he was handling it just fine.

So, will Lock get to start Friday night at Dallas to replace the start he missed against the Bears?

Carroll wouldn’t commit to that.

But he did say, “I plan on him playing a lot’’ against the Cowboys. Undoubtedly, the team wanted to make sure that Lock could return and make it through a practice. That he did might well point to Lock starting against Dallas.

“I still need to see him play and need to see him fit in with our guys and all that,’’ Carroll said. “He’s done really well until now.’’

The Dallas game is the last of three preseason games for the Seahawks. They will have 16 days until the regular-season opener Sept. 12 against Russell Wilson and the Broncos.

Carroll said the team could conceivably wait until the week of the Denver game to make a decision, noting that the Seahawks will have two full weeks of practice following the Dallas game with the new preseason schedule of just three games.

“I don’t think that there’s any date, pressure on me at all in that regard,’’ Carroll said of making a decision on a starter. “We’re to take the time it takes to figure it out and make sure that we have all the information that we need. Got to wait and see what happens in this game.’’

Carroll said last week that the team had planned all along to give Lock the start against the Bears after Smith started the preseason opener against the Steelers.

As Carroll has stated several times, it was going to be a challenging week for Lock to prepare for his first start.

Because of the game at Pittsburgh and late flight back, the Seahawks had their only significant practice last week Tuesday.

The far-from-ideal schedule is the result in part of the NFL having taken over scheduling preseason games — NFL teams used to do it themselves. The Seahawks would have preferred to have less of an extreme turnaround from week one to week two.

The Seahawks wanted to give week two to Lock and then let the results dictate what happened from there.

Lock felt ill during Tuesday’s practice and was tested afterward.

“This was really frustrating for him’’ Carroll said.

But Carroll hinted that the week of work Lock was going to get with the starters last week could just happen now, saying, “The plan has been adjusted.’’

In the bigger picture, Carroll’s comments make clear that nothing has been decided.

The 31-year-old Smith is 20 of 33 for 213 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in playing the first half of each game. In 11 full possessions under Smith, the Seahawks have just 10 points.

But, the receivers also dropped three of Smith’s passes, including on a third down on the first series by Freddie Swain.

“Geno has done a good job,’’ Carroll said. “Geno needs a little more help from some guys — need to catch the football for him a little bit better. But he has handled it well.’’

Lock went 11 of 15 for 102 yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers for a passer rating of 131.1 that dwarfs the 79.5 rating that Smith has in two games.

“We’ll see what happens this week,’’ Carroll said. “And we do have really good weeks of practice coming up. This week is a great one, next week is a great one and the one after is a great one, so we’ll use all of that if we need it.”