Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith went into the team’s Thanksgiving matchup against the 49ers with a questionable designation as he dealt with a bruised elbow. Now, in this week’s rematch, Smith will once again come in questionable after tweaking his groin in practice Thursday, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
In the first game against their division rival, Smith struggled, perhaps due to the injury. Smith completed only 18 passes for 180 yards and an interception. The 49ers didn’t go easy on him as their defense tallied up 12 quarterback hits and six sacks. If another injury would deliver similar results, Seattle may think twice about putting him under center to start Sunday.
His newest ailment was a bit of a freak accident, as he tweaked his groin when he “stumbled over somebody.” Smith was held out of practice Friday in order to rest the groin, while head coach Pete Carroll remained vague about Smith’s chances of once again being able to play despite the questionable designation. It sounds like they’ll make their official decision during pregame warmups on Sunday.
If Smith can’t go, Drew Lock will be asked to step in and start in his place. Not only would this be Lock’s first start since he was a Bronco in 2021, but it would also be his first serious action at all since his time in Denver. Lock took the NFL by storm when, as a rookie, he stepped in as a starter after injuries to Joe Flacco and Brandon Allen. Lock would go 4-1 as a starter that year while throwing seven touchdowns to only three interceptions.
His first full season as a starter didn’t go nearly as well. In 13 starts, Lock’s completion percentage plummeted to 57 percent. He failed to match the efficiency of his rookie year as he threw only 16 touchdowns while leading the league with 15 interceptions. Lock lost the preseason starting battle to Teddy Bridgewater the following year, but started three games in injury relief, losing all three contests.
Since being traded to Seattle, Lock hasn’t seen any extensive action. As a Seahawk, he’s only appeared in two games, both coming this year. He came in during garbage time in the team’s win over the Giants and found a few drives as an injury replacement during the team’s loss to the Rams. Seattle is hoping that they can keep Lock’s usage low as they attempt to stay in the playoff race. They’ll hope that Smith will find no trouble in pregame warmups and be able to start with no limitations.
The concern is real, though. So much so that the Seahawks added quarterback Sean Mannion to their practice squad Friday. After Brett Rypien was signed off their practice squad by the Jets earlier this week, Mannion now stands as the only quarterback left to backup Lock, should Smith be unable to go. In order to make room on the practice squad for Mannion, Seattle released practice squad running back SaRodorick Thompson.