Doug Baldwin: Breaking Down How Injury Will Impact Seahawks Offense

Nick KostoraContributor IIIOctober 18, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 07:  Doug Baldwin #89 of the Seattle Seahawks makes a first-down catch as Josh Norman #24 of the Carolina Panthers defends during play at Bank of America Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Injuries are nothing new to Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, and his second-quarter ankle injury against the San Francisco 49ers was enough to keep him out of the rest of the game.

The Seahawks offense undoubtedly takes a hit without Baldwin in the lineup, but that hit is small and he is not playing to his potential this season anyway. Baldwin has just 11 catches for 149 yards and a touchdown through six games.

He is clearly not a favorite target of rookie QB Russell Wilson, who has targeted three players more often than the former Stanford Cardinal. Baldwin did have 51 catches for 788 yards last season, but that was with a different QB who had a different level of comfort with him.

Now, if Baldwin misses any more time, Seattle's offense should be able to move past the loss relatively unscathed. Sidney Rice and Golden Tate have firmly implanted themselves as the No. 1 and No. 2 options in the passing game, and their level of play is higher than Baldwin's.

They may receive a few additional targets each in his absence, but players like Braylon Edwards and Ben Obomanu are more than capable of filling in for Baldwin if he is out.

Dependence on Marshawn Lynch and the running game should remain unchanged without Baldwin in the lineup, and the Skittles fan should continue to see somewhere around 20 carries per game the rest of the year.

Baldwin is a versatile 5'10",189-pound weapon, but he is not a key piece of the Seahawks' puzzle right now. 

Seattle will be fine if this ankle injury proves severe, and although Baldwin is a solid weapon, there are other players that can cover him in his absence.