The Seattle offense has been unpredictable this season, as a suspect offensive line sunk the Seahawks from the third-best rushing offense in 2015 to the 25th-ranked unit while the entire offense managed 4.3 points per game less than a season ago. Another potential reason for the dip in production for the Seattle offense is the health of quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson suffered a sprained MCL in Week 3 and although he has been able to play through the injury, he has worn a knee brace since the incident and hasn’t had nearly the rushing success he had in his first four seasons.
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Wilson’s previous lows in the ground game came in his rookie season, when he ran for 489 yards and 30.6 yards per game. In 2016, the hobbled Wilson ran for just 259 yards and 16.2 yards per outing. "I don't know if he's 100 percent," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "He's probably not running 4.4 like he did when he was coming out of the combine.” Despite struggles with escaping pressure and using his legs to beat opposing defenses, perhaps a boost could be coming as Wilson is reportedly contemplating shedding his knee brace for the postseason. "I don't have to keep wearing it," Wilson said. "I'm contemplating what we're going to do here." Perhaps ditching the brace will allow Wilson to fully utilize his wheels, which could potentially open up the offense for the Seahawks, who will host the Detroit Lions on Saturday night. If Seattle advances, they will certainly need all of Wilson’s abilities on full display to knock off the high-scoring Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round.
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In Other News…
The Cleveland offseason is off to an interesting start, as Corey Coleman may or may not have been involved in a fight in the lobby of his condo on New Year’s Eve. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Coleman was not actually involved in the scuffle, and that Cleveland Police have a 30-45 second video proving that the Browns receiver was not a part of the action. Stay tuned, but it appears that Coleman may be off the hook in this situation. The Cleveland rookie caught 33 passes for 413 yards in 10 games in his debut season and should be a breakout candidate for the 2017 season if Cleveland can land a competent quarterback. Chuckle.
Jeremy Hill may end up as Cincinnati’s “backup” running back in 2017, according to Paul Dehner of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Dehner expects the Bengals to add a running back through the NFL Draft and Giovani Bernard (knee) should return to a prominent role, which may leave Hill in the dust. The 2016 season was certainly not memorable for Hill, as he averaged 3.8 yards per carry and wasn’t able to excel in Bernard’s absence. If we cherry pick through Hill’s 2016 resume and remove his two outings against lowly Cleveland, Hill averaged just 3.0 yards per carry and did not top 100 yards against all other competition. A role as a goal line bruiser may be Hill’s ticket to staying fantasy relevant in the future.
Randall Cobb (ankle) has practiced on consecutive days and it appears that a Wild Card weekend return may be in the cards for the Green Bay receiver who hasn’t caught a pass since Week 14. Everyone’s favorite Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison looked sharp while filling-in for Cobb at the end of the regular season, snagging eight passes for 157 yards and a score in two games. If Cobb is not able to return, Allison will spring into action but ample practice time this week suggests Cobb should be ready to hit the field.
Ezekiel Elliott expects a “bigger workload” in the postseason, which would be interesting considering Elliott touched the ball 23.6 times per game during the regular season. No matter how the touches shake out, Elliott will continue to carry the Cowboys’ offense. … Ladarius Green (concussion) practiced fully on Thursday and looks ready to return for Pittsburgh’s clash with Miami this weekend. Keep an eye on his practice status on Friday, but he should be ready to go against the Dolphins. … Paul Perkins has been slowly taking hold of the Giants’ backfield, but OC Mike Sullivan still believes that Perkins and Rashad Jennings “compliment each other well.” A committee will likely still be in the works this weekend. … Raiders wide receivers Michael Crabtree (finger) and Amari Cooper (shoulder) were both limited at practice on Thursday but will be ready to roll on Saturday against Houston. Expectations for both wideouts should be kept low with Connor Cook under center. … Ryan Tannehill (knee) still “needed more time” according to coach Adam Gase, and the Miami quarterback has already been ruled out for Wild Card weekend. The Dolphins are large underdogs at Pittsburgh but still likely won’t get Tannehill back in the playoffs even if they spring an upset. … Malcolm Mitchell (knee) was back at practice on Thursday, which is an encouraging sign. Mitchell skipped Week 17 and also has a bye this week to rest, so the chances of him suiting up in the Divisional Round look solid. … Tyrod Taylor (groin) underwent surgery on Thursday and is looking at a six-week recovery, which will be no problem with the Bills opting out of the postseason for the 79th consecutive season. … Blake Bortles will reportedly be spending significant time working on his throwing mechanics over the offseason, which should be music to the ears of Jacksonville fans. Bortles can only go up after a rough season. … Jay Cutler is “significantly ahead of schedule” in dealing with shoulder surgery for a torn labrum. Cutty’s Chicago future is up in the air but he should land somewhere in 2017. … Falcons tight end Austin Hooper (knee) is practicing again after missing Atlanta’s final two regular season games and should be good to go in the Divisional Round.