Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told The Mike Salk Show on Wednesday that Geno Smith will start the team's preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys on Friday.
Drew Lock will play the majority of the game as the backup.
On Tuesday, Carroll praised both quarterbacks:
It appears, however, as though Smith is the front-runner to open the regular season as the starter.
For one, he has started both preseason games—Lock was scheduled to start Thursday but was sidelined with COVID-19—and has worked with the first team offense more regularly. Smith also has more experience in the scheme since he's been with the team in each of the last three seasons, and Lock was acquired in March in the Russell Wilson trade.
Gregg Bell @gbellseattle
Said it weeks ago: Can't understand why Pete Carroll didn't alternate Drew Lock with Geno Smith on the 1st offense from day 1 of training camp. Seahawks needlessly compressed their own QB competition. It's still not a true one. Lock's still sick, 7 days before preseason finale.
Lock returned to practice Sunday.
Despite the signs pointing toward Smith as the starter, Carroll has continued to indicate he hasn't made a decision.
"I'm wide-open for whatever happens," he told reporters Tuesday. "Geno's been the guy in the lead position the whole time, and I've protected that thought throughout. He's done a really nice job. He's been very consistent. So we'll just see what happens. There's two more weeks of practice, too, after this. I had a set thought on what we would do with the timeline, but that got disrupted, so we're going to use all the time we need."
Having an undisputed starter would be ideal, but it would also be ideal to have one with a more impressive resume those of the journeyman backup Smith and the underwhelming prospect Lock.
Smith last started regularly for the New York Jets in 2014, his second season. He was 3-10. In 15 games with five starts since then, he has completed 64.3 percent of his passes for 1,346 yards and nine touchdowns against three interceptions. His record is 2-3.
Lock made 21 starts over the past three seasons for the Denver Broncos and dropped the bag with 4,740 yards and 25 touchdowns against 20 interceptions, a 59.3 completion percentage and an 8-13 record.
But barring a trade for a player such as Jimmy Garoppolo, these are Seattle's options and Smith remains ahead.