Mention C.J. Prosise’s name and you’re likely to get a heavy eye roll from a large contingent of Seattle Seahawks fans. Patience has worn thin for the uber talented but oft injured running back. He’s played in just 16 games over his first three seasons, having been placed on Injured Reserve twice.
The good news for Prosise is that while many fans are eager for Seattle to move on from him, he still has the faith of his head coach. Right now that’s all that matters.
“I don’t give up on guys very quickly,” Pete Carroll said after Saturday night’s win against the Los Angeles Chargers. “Knowing what his situation has been and the circumstances, he has stayed with it every step of the way. … He’s such a versatile player, and he adds so much.”
That’s what Prosise exhibited on Saturday in what was his preseason debut after missing most of the month with a hip strain. He racked up a team-high 32 rushing yards on just five carries and scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. Prosise added one catch for 15 yards.
His vision, burst and obvious play-making ability is why Seattle has opted to keep the embattled running back around despite injury after injury.
“It’s been such a struggle for him to get out there,” Carroll said. “He had a really good week of practice. He looked like that in practice. I don’t think anyone was surprised, we are just happy for him. We’ll come back next week, and he’ll go at it again.”
This one performance won’t be enough to keep Prosise on the roster in 2019 as the running back room is crowded. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny are locks. Nick Bellore should be on the team as well unless Carroll leaves a fullback off the roster for the first time since he became Seattle’s head coach. That leaves likely just two spots for Prosise, J.D. McKissic, Bo Scarbrough and 2019 sixth-round pick Travis Homer.
The final preseason game on Thursday against the Oakland Raiders will be a big night for all four.
“We need to put another week under his belt and just show what he can do,” Carroll said of Prosise. “It makes that running back position more solid and competitive.”
Prosise has arguably the highest ceiling among the others fighting for a roster spot given his ability as a pass catcher. If Seattle truly believes he’s turned the corner on the injury front, that might be what tips the scales in Prosise’s favor when cuts are made next Saturday.