Coby Bryant, come on down.
The rookie fourth-round draft choice was back in a featured role for the third consecutive game Sunday, as the Seahawks’ primary nickel defensive back against the Detroit Lions. That’s because veteran Justin Coleman was inactive for the third consecutive game with a calf injury.
Seattle had listed Coleman as doubtful to play.
“He’s close (to returning),” coach Pete Carroll said Friday. “He’s running hard, but hasn’t been able to just cut loose yet. He’s close.”
The Seahawks’ next game is next weekend at New Orleans.
Carroll and Seattle general manger John Schneider drafted Bryant, the Jim Thorpe Award winner last year as college football’s best defensive back, to play cornerback. In August, Carroll moved Bryant inside to nickel back against inside slot receivers. Bryant has stayed in that role while San Francisco and Atlanta ran for 189 and 179 yards against Seattle the previous two games entering Sunday.
He’d played 67 and 66 percent of snaps the last two weeks, totaling six tackles against the 49ers and Falcons, plus a sack of Atlanta’s Marcus Mariota on an unblocked blitz.
“Coby is really growing with the spot. He’s learning,” Carroll said. “There is so much to learn at this spot. It’s such an intricate position because you do so much. You are in zones, you are in man (coverage). You are in pressures. You are in run fits, and there are big-time adjustments.
“He’s really doing well, and you can see that he played with confidence last week. He really got after it, pressured beautifully, and made a couple of really nice tackles. The time that he has had has given him an opportunity to kind of get comfortable and going with this thing.
“He still has a long way to go, and with JC not being able to get back...then we are feeling OK with Coby playing.”
Darryl Johnson replacing Darrell Taylor as starting OLB in Seahawks' pregame at Detroit.
Coaches have promised more PT for Johnson. It appears it will come at the expense of Taylor, who's been mostly invisible so far on the edge. @thenewstribune
— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) October 2, 2022
The Seahawks’ other inactive players Sunday: healthy scratch (again) cornerback Artie Burns, injured safety Joey Blount, injured backup guard Phil Haynes, rookie wide receiver Dareke Young and reserve defensive tackle Myles Adams.
Burns and Sidney Jones, a starter for Seattle last season, again watched Michael Jackson and rookie Tariq Woolen start in Detroit.
Jones replaced Jackson during the second defensive drive of the game, late in the first quarter.
“The situation has changed with him (Burns) coming back and with Sidney coming back (from a concussion in August),” Carroll said. “Sidney is ready to play, too. We have been really cautious with Sidney because of the injury that he had.
“The competition is really on. These guys are fighting to get through. We had a terrific week of practice with those guys. It’s just stepped up. Everybody can feel it. They are fighting for their wins in practice, and it made for a really good week.”