Seahawks Place Tyler Lockett, Alex Collins on Reserve/COVID-19 List

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 16, 2021

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

The Seattle Seahawks placed two key offensive players, wide receiver Tyler Lockett and running back Alex Collins, on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday.

The roster moves come just three days before the Seahawks face the NFC West rival Los Angeles Rams on the road.

Seattle's playoff hopes are hanging by a thread, as it is currently last in the NFC West with a 5-8 record, but the team enters Sunday's contest on a two-game winning streak.

Of the two potential absences, Lockett will likely hurt the most since he is Seattle's leading receiver this season.

The 29-year-old veteran is pacing the team with 62 receptions for 1,062 yards, and he is second with five receiving touchdowns, behind only D.K. Metcalf's eight.

Last week, Lockett turned in his best effort since Week 2, as he made five grabs for 142 yards and a touchdown in a 33-13 win over the Houston Texans.

If Lockett is unable to go Sunday, quarterback Russell Wilson will be without his favorite target. It will represent a golden opportunity for Metcalf to step up and break out of his funk, however.

After earning a Pro Bowl nod last season with 83 receptions for 1,303 yards and 10 touchdowns, Metcalf has largely struggled in 2021 to the tune of 56 catches for 753 yards and eight touchdowns.

Much of that is due to the fact that he didn't mesh with Geno Smith while Wilson was out injured, but his numbers have remained down since Wilson's return as well.

In addition to Metcalf, the Seahawks will need more out of wide receivers Freddie Swain and D'Wayne Eskridge, as well as tight end Gerald Everett.

It should be noted, however, that Metcalf, Swain and Eskridge all missed practice Wednesday due to injury.

Collins landing on the COVID-19 list could be a major hit to Seattle's backfield depth as well.

With starter Chris Carson on injured reserve and out for the season, Collins is the Seahawks' leading rusher. In 11 games, including six starts, Collins has rushed for 411 yards and two touchdowns.

Softening the blow of Collins being placed on the COVID list is the recent emergence of 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny.

Injuries have limited Penny to six games this season, but in his second start of the year last week, he exploded for 137 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries.

Penny figures to start again this week with DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer serving as backups.

Given that the final playoff spot in the NFC is currently occupied by a 6-7 team, the Seahawks are still very much in the hunt and could help their postseason chances significantly with an upset win over L.A.