Good news for Thomas Rawls.
On these Seahawks, you can go from not even dressed for one game--or the season--to a key contributor in a comeback win.
The snap counts from Sunday night’s Seahawks rally in the second half past Indianapolis show running back and kick returner J.D. McKissic went from inactive for the first three games to two touchdowns on 10, impacting plays against the Colts.
McKissic was only playing because C.J. Prosise was out and injured for the 13th time in the 22 games the Seahawks have played since they drafted the third-down back in 2016.
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McKissic’s second touchdown showed his versatility. He was a undrafted college wide receiver at Arkansas State before Atlanta had him last season then waived him. He lined up outside as a wide out with 2:22 left in the game sprinted past linebacker Jon Bostic down the right sideline and caught Russell Wilson’s second TD pass of the second half.
Marcus Smith went from 31 snaps total through the first three games to 27 on Sunday night. The discarded former first-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles raced around tackle Joe Haeg then hit and sacked Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett in the third quarter to force a fumble. Teammate Bobby Wagner picked up that and returned it for the touchdown that turned Seattle’s struggle into a 32-18 rout.
Smith only played so much because Pro Bowl defensive end Cliff Avril got a neck injury in the first half after playing just 11 of the defense’s 60 snaps. Coach Pete Carroll said after the game Avril appears to be OK.
Late Sunday night Smith sounded humbled by his unexpected second chance in Seattle.
“To even play on this defense is an honor and privilege,” he said.
Rawls went from lead back entering the preseason to hurt for a month to healthy again to Sunday becoming the second veteran, top running back to be healthy but inactive for a game for the first time in his career. That happened to Eddie Lacy two weeks before, during the home win over San Francisco.
Sunday night Lacy went from zero snaps the previous weekend at Tennessee to 23. His 11 carries for 52 yards were six more runs and 49 more yards than the former Green Bay Packers lead back had through Seattle’s first three games.
“He looked good,” Carroll said of Lacy. “He stumbled that one time, I would have loved to see him stay on his feet there so he could do some damage downfield. I thought he looked exactly like we hoped. He looked big and strong and tough and very decisive and all and he just needs to get some more carries to get going. I thought that was great.”
Rawls could go from shelved to featured this weekend when the Seahawks play at the NFC West-leading Los Angeles Rams. Rookie starter Chris Carson’s night ended Sunday after 35 plays, just over half of the offense’s work against Indianapolis. Carson, the seventh-round pick and Seattle’s surprising leading rusher so far this season, got what Carroll termed a “significant” ankle injury when the Colts’ Jon Bostic landed on it making a tackle on a run for no gain in the second half.
Now the Seahawks are going to be asking an angry Rawls to jump right back in as if he was never in sweats on the sideline for the Colts game.
“With Chris being banged up, we’re so fortunate to have Thomas ready to jump back out there,” Carroll said. “We’re just lucky that we have a guy like that who’s ready to go and is healthy and all that."
The snap counts also show Rees Odhiambo was a stud who earned major respect inside the locker room. That’s where he was flat on his back with paramedics from the Seattle Fire Department and Seahawks doctors over him following the game. The starting left tackle and second-year man from Boise State had trouble breathing after getting hit in the chest on the final play of a drive in the first half. But Odhiambo did not miss a snap; he played 68 offensive plays--then spent the night at the hospital.
“He had the wind knocked out of him on the field. He was waiting to get his breath back,” Carroll said. “He had some trouble breathing after that, particularly after the game as he was kind of calming down and quieting down.
“So, we took care of him. Hopefully he will be all right.”