RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Of the handful of games Gerald Everett has missed in his career, this season's Week 5 seemed the toughest.
Everyone loves that first game against a former team. But when the Seattle Seahawks faced the Los Angeles Rams in early October, Everett was stuck being a spectator. He'll get another chance when the Seahawks travel to LA on Sunday for what is essentially a must-win game for Seattle’s playoff hopes.
“It’s good to finally be able to see some of my old teammates and be able to compete against them in our race to the playoffs,” Everett said. “I was really bummed out that I couldn’t see them last time watching it from home, but it will be different watching it through my visor so I’m excited.”
There’s a chance Seattle will be shorthanded.
Until Thursday, Everett was the only Seattle player in the past two seasons to be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list after testing positive in September, which forced him to miss two games, including the first matchup with the Rams. But now wide receiver Tyler Lockett and running back Alex Collins have landed on the COVID list, putting their availability against the Rams in question.
If Lockett can't play, Seattle would be without its leading receiver. He has 62 catches for 1,023 yards and six touchdowns this season.
Seattle made it through last season without putting a player on the list due to a positive test. Everett became the first this season before the Week 4 game against San Francisco. The Seahawks desperately tried to get Everett cleared in time to play the following week against the Rams. But the negative test he needed was not confirmed in time for him to be activated for the game.
The news about Lockett and Collins drove home the concern over rising cases around the league for a team that’s been able to avoid a significant number of COVID-19 cases to date.
“The last two years, we’ve been trying to avoid everything happening,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. “All jokes aside, it’s a pretty serious matter just in general, as we’ve been saying for a long time, everybody’s been saying. I think the reality of COVID is, it can affect anybody and it can impact anybody.”
With Lockett uncertain, having the versatile Everett this time around should be a big boost for the offense. His first year with the Seahawks has been mixed, but that falls in line with the struggles faced by the offense in general. Everett enters this week with 36 catches for 294 yards and three touchdowns.
Everett has TD receptions in two of the past three games and it should have been three straight games. He had a miserable game two weeks ago against San Francisco when he fumbled twice and had a bobbled catch turn into an interception. The bobbled catch and the second fumble came at the goal line and keeping the ball could have given Seattle some breathing room in what became a 30-23 win.
“It was tough, I mean, both mentally and physically for me because I know what kind of player I am and the player I want to be eventually when I finish my career and the things that I want to do,” Everett said. “So that game didn’t exemplify that and it was tough, but my teammates stood beside me and kept my head in the game.”
Everett rebounded with a TD catch last week against Houston and Wilson clearly understands what his top pass-catching tight end can provide.
“Obviously, he is really, really talented,” Wilson said. “I love his approach every day, he comes with the right approach, he’s relaxed, he’s calm, he understands the game, he understands what we want to do and how we want to do it.”
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