The Seattle Seahawks have a major depth issue on the offensive line. Guards Mike Iupati, Phil Haynes and Jordan Simmons are all battling injuries, while tackles George Fant and Jamarco Jones are on the shelf as well.
That created an opportunity for other linemen to step up in their place – an opportunity that former second round pick Ethan Pocic is not letting pass him by.
“Ethan has done a great job stepping up with the starters,” coach Pete Carroll commented on Wednesday. “He’s done a great job.”
However, even though Pocic filled in admirably for Iupati, Carroll still expects the veteran to take over the starting job once he is healthy.
“I’m really counting on Mike [Iupati] to come back in, but he’s got to get well,” Carroll continued. “If he doesn’t, if he’s not right, then Ethan is ready to go. Ethan is a starter for us. If Mike comes back and he’s great and in shape and all that stuff, then he’ll get a first look for us. Ethan really has done beautiful.”
Iupati had a calf injury crop up while he was rehabbing from a foot injury, and there is not a clear timetable for his return, although Carroll believes he is close.
Pocic gives Seattle tremendous versatility along the line, as he is able to play guard, center and tackle. That makes him a very valuable lineman to have on the bench, which is part of the reason Carroll wants Iupati to start as long as he is healthy.