RENTON — On Tuesday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was not yet ready to say who would start at quarterback in Friday’s preseason finale in Dallas — Geno Smith or Drew Lock.
But on Wednesday, he took advantage of an appearance on the team’s flagship radio station, Seattle Sports 710 AM, to say that Smith will start but Lock will come off the bench and play substantially.
“He’s going to go in there first and play a little bit,” Carroll said of Smith. “And then Drew will play most of the game for us and we’ll just give him a lot of playing time and leave him there and let him play football.”
Carroll reiterated that Smith getting the start again doesn’t mean he’s already been listed as a starter when the regular season begins Sept. 12 against Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos.
Instead, Carroll said Smith’s departure was partly due to the time Lock missed last week while dealing with COVID-19.
Lock was scheduled to start against the Bears last Thursday, but tested positive on Tuesday. He then missed a day of practice and the match and did not return until Sunday.
“Because of what we missed last week, we just had to adjust a bit,” Carroll said. “We’re going to keep evaluating, keep watching, and we’re going to make the right decision for us at that time. We need as much information as possible, so that’s what I’m trying to create.
Some might wonder, if labor is still open, why wouldn’t Lock start now that he’s healthy and has had a full week of practice.
Carroll suggested that letting Lock play most of the rest of the game after Smith starts is the best way for the team to make their assessment.
“Remember it was going to be different going into this game by what we learned last week so we didn’t get that information,” he said. “So we just need to keep getting information and we need to give Drew every chance to show who he is and what he’s talking about.”
And Carroll reiterated that Smith had done nothing to lose his grip on being at the top of the depth chart for now as well.
“He’s been on it all along and he’s done a great job, so we’re really glad he was able to be that for us,” he said.
Still, Carroll again insisted that Lock had a shot at winning the starting job.
“The other side is that Drew is also a very exciting football player, and that’s what keeps this thing alive, and it’s fun to watch him practice and we’ll see what he does. will do,” Carroll said.
Smith started both preseason games and played the entire first half of each while working primarily with the No. 1 offensive line.
Lock only played in the second half of the first preseason game in Pittsburgh, working behind the second offensive line.
Carroll’s statement that Smith will start makes it unclear whether that means Lock will play with the No. 1 offensive line against Dallas, or the team’s top receivers in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
Carroll also referred to the team’s mock game at Lumen Field as having essentially been a preseason game as well.
Lock had a series with the No. 1 offense in that game in which he went 18-27 for 185 yards and a touchdown.
Seahawks add depth at running back
On Wednesday, the Seahawks signed rookie running back Ronnie Rivers and placed linebacker Jon Rhattigan on the reserve roster physically unable to make room on the 80-man roster.
This means Rhattigan must miss the first four games of the 2022 season. He is still recovering from an ACL injury sustained against the Rams on Dec. 21. Rhattigan played 14 games last season as an Army rookie before the injury.
The 5-foot-8, 198-pound Rivers rushed for 3,417 yards at Fresno State, third in school history.
This story will be updated.