When Pete Carroll settled on Tarvaris Jackson as the starting quarterback for the 2011 Seattle Seahawks few expected the team to repeat as NFC West division champions.
But having a pair of big, play-making wide receivers in Mike Williams and fellow former Viking Sidney Rice in his arsenal should have helped the unproven Jackson settle into his new surroundings.
Rice in particular — who played with Jackson in Minnesota — was viewed as one of the emerging receivers in the league when he signed with Seattle, but he’s been a near non-factor for the 4-7 Seahawks.
On Wednesday, Carroll announced the Seahawks will place the 6-4 wideout on injured reserve , ending his season.
Rice was knocked out of Sunday’s game against the Redskins only two weeks after sustaining a concussion, and if Sunday’s hit resulted in another concussion, the decision to shut him down was an obvious one.
Two years removed from an 83-catch, 1,312-yard, 8-touchdown breakout season with Brett Favre slinging him the ball, Jackson managed all of 484 yards and two touchdowns in nine games in Seattle.
Jackson’s less-than-steady hand at the helm didn’t help matters, but Rice’s inability to stay on the field and Williams’ inability to live up to his big contract extension have hamstrung an offense that has been held below 20 points seven times this season.
Minnesota wanted to re-sign Rice in the offseason, even after his microfracture hip surgery, but the injury concerns surrounding the 25-year-old no doubt factored into their decision not to match Seattle’s offer.
The Seahawks are left with rookie Doug Baldwin — a surprise as the team’s leading receiver with 37 catches — drop-prone Ben Obomanu and the aforementioned Williams as they get set to host Philadelphia on Thursday night. It’s hardly a trio that will take pressure off of suddenly resurgent running back Marshawn Lynch, but then again, when was the last time the Seahawks had a receiving corps that made a secondary quiver?