Seattle Seahawks News: Backups Getting It Done


The Seattle Seahawks are lucky to be 5-3.

Seems a little harsh, doesn’t it? With the season just barely past the halfway mark, the defending Super Bowl champions have already equaled their loss total from last season, playoffs included. First place in their own division is a full two games away, and it damn well might be out of reach. Things are already disappointing. But they could be worse.

The ‘Hawks haven’t had a truly “safe” win since the first week of the season, and yet have hung in there despite a recent scary second half showing against the lowly Oakland Raiders (not to mention the scary first half in Charlotte a week earlier). This season isn’t going as well as anyone had hoped, yet the ‘Hawks are hanging in the thick of the playoff picture. They owe it to the unlikeliest of sources.

Injuries have played a huge role in the Seahawks’ 2014 campaign. Russell Okung, J.R. Sweezy, Max Unger, Zach Miller, Cam Chancellor, Malcolm Smith, and Bobby Wagner are just a handful of the guys who have missed time with injuries this season. That’s really only the tip of the iceberg. It’s been everyone, or at least almost everyone.

Injuries alone aren’t why we now know names like Cooper Helfet and Paul Richardson – we know those names because of their eye-opening play in reserve of injured starters. Hell, those guys are basically third-stringers, but they’ve gotten their time in the spotlight due to the insane amount of time ‘Hawks stars have had to spend on the sidelines.

Last Sunday against the Raiders was the biggest test yet for the Seahawks’ depth, as we were treated to names such as Patrick Lewis and Garry Gilliam. Alvin Bailey started. DeShawn Shead started. Brock Coyle started. The offense and defense alike were flooded with third-stringers, and the result was an absolutely critical victory.

For every guy getting hurt, there seems to be a Marcus Burley stepping up in his place. Some of these guys, like Burley, Richardson, and Helfet, have played so well as to assure themselves bigger roles on the team going forward. Other of these guys, like Shead, Lewis, and Gilliam, are just trying to keep their team afloat until the tides turn. But make no mistake, every one of them has been completely necessary for the Seahawks to get to where they are right now.

The Seahawks have a very tough schedule the rest of the way. They’re not the team they were last year, but with guys getting ready to return from the sidelines, they’re also not the team they’ve been through week nine. They’ll be stronger next week, and stronger than that the week after. And now they know that if the injury bug bites again, they’ve got plenty of more-than-capable backups ready and waiting to make their presence known.