The Seattle Seahawks have lost three of their top five defensive players to injury this season. It’s never good news when a player suffers a serious injury — I take no joy in it, and the only fans that do are pretty awful. But those injuries do make the Seahawks, a defensive-minded team, a lot less imposing.
For instance, if the San Francisco 49ers had a quarterback that they think could be their franchise player but who is not quite comfortable enough in the offense and who they definitely don’t want hurt behind a bad offensive line ... the weakened Seahawks might present an opportunity.
Jimmy Garoppolo may or may not be the future at quarterback and he may or may not be ready to run a limited version of Kyle Shanahan’s offense, but a Seattle defense that is short cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Kam Chancellor and pass rusher Cliff Avril has to be appealing. And all of that coming off a bye week, too.
Obviously, Garoppolo wants to play as soon as he can to show what he’s got. On the other hand, C.J. Beathard just had his best game as a professional and the locker room seems to be on his side. Are the weakened Seahawks too good an opportunity to pass up for the 49ers?
It’s hard to say, but it’s worth noting that secondary is downright scary when up to full health. Sherman and Chancellor, plus Earl Thomas, are arguably the best — not among the best, the best — players at their positions in the entire NFL. Avril is also a very productive defender who can make life hell for any quarterback.
Maybe if you look at the schedule and see the Seahawks, a tough team that always fights hard against the 49ers, you would shy away from throwing Garoppolo in there. But considering all the injuries, it might just be a good idea.