Seattle Seahawks’ Drew Lock to miss Thursday start after testing positive for COVID-19

RENTON, Wash. — Seattle Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Thursday’s second preseason game, the team announced Tuesday.

The news came about 90 minutes after coach Pete Carroll explained that while Geno Smith was still leading Seattle’s quarterback contest, Lock would start Thursday against the visiting Chicago Bears. Instead, Lock is required to isolate for at least five days, per CDC guidelines, which the NFL is now following after pausing its coronavirus protocols.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Legwold, Lock is vaccinated against COVID-19.

Speaking to reporters after practice – ahead of the announcement of Lock’s positive test – Carroll also revealed the Seahawks are hoping the rookie running back Kenneth Walker III will be available for their season opener given the second-round election dealing with a hernia.

Lock’s positive test was a surprise twist on an already notable development in the fight to succeed Russell Wilson. For the first time all of the offseason, Lock took all of Seattle’s first-team representatives Tuesday to prepare for Thursday’s start. Lock, who had only received a handful of practice repeaters with the No. 1 attack through Tuesday, threw an interception during an 11-on-11 period and looked shaky in his most extended action with the starters.

Carroll said Tuesday the expectation was to start lock in the second game of preseason. Smith kicked off last weekend with the Seahawks’ sham game at Lumen Field and their preseason opener with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“It’s part of the plan,” Carroll said. “Regardless of what happened, we wanted to give Drew a chance to start a game and just see what happens. Luckily he played really well and deserves a chance to play, just as everyone deserves a chance to play and show what they can do.”

Carroll added of Lock: “He was spot on. He’s done everything he needed to do to position himself as a beginning soccer player up to this point. So we’ll see how it goes.”

Lock, acquired by the Denver Broncos in the Wilson trade, missed a game last season after testing positive for COVID-19 and one in 2020 after being considered a close contact.

Lock outplayed Smith in the Seahawks’ sham game and had a strong night in Pittsburgh before losing a late fumble in Seattle’s 32-25 loss. He finished 11 of 15 for 102 yards and two touchdown passes while playing the entire second half against Steelers backups.

“Drew came straight out, led us straight onto the field and did well,” said Carroll. “Banged the ball around and converted some third downs. He did good things. That happened. … Happy with both guys so far.”

Carroll confirmed Tuesday that Lock was to blame for not considering the unblocked rusher that hit him from behind with just over a minute into the game, resulting in a fumble that Pittsburgh recovered. Carroll previously stated that Smith led the competition because he was better at handling pre-snap tasks, such as B. Changing plays and protecting at the line of scrimmage.

“Yeah, he made a mistake,” Carroll said of Lock. “He had to read the guy who came off the edge and he didn’t do it right so he got beat up. He’ll never be that hot again. That was a great lesson.”

Smith went 10 of 15 for 101 yards and a quick touchdown while hitting mostly Pittsburgh backups. Carroll noted that Smith would have started 10-to-10 had it not been for a pair of drops and tight end Noah Fant boxing his second foot on a well-placed throw to the sideline.

“Geno is still #1,” Carroll said. “At this point he stops. I really like what Drew showed us… Both of our boys can play. We know this. You can play both.”

Walker, who is expected to have a significant role in Seattle’s backfield this season alongside Rashaad Penny, was nowhere to be seen on the field during Tuesday’s practice session.

“Ken has a little hernia thing he’s working on and we’re going to have to get through this,” Carroll said. “So I don’t know what to tell you just yet, but it’s something we can take care of and whatnot.

Walker, the second running back drafted in April and the 41st overall pick, has had a healthy and impressive offseason up to this point. Last Thursday, Carroll praised Walker for how good he’s become as a running back. Specifically, he said Walker “flipped over” his pass protection struggles from college, adding, “He could play all three downs and we’d be comfortable with that.”

Walker started against Pittsburgh and finished with 30 yards on six touches. Penny didn’t play against the Steelers because of groin strains, but he trained Tuesday. Seattle Seahawks’ Drew Lock to miss Thursday start after testing positive for COVID-19

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