The Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers face each other to start their respective preseason play, and they just so happen to carry two of the most intriguing positional battles. The Seahawks are looking to solidify their starting quarterback for Week 1, while the Steelers may have a quarterback competition on their plate if the most recent training camp reports continue to persist.
Ahead of Saturday’s matchup, we preview which players you can expect to see on the field, which likely includes some presumed starters from both teams.
Seattle will surely use the preseason to find Russell Wilson’s replacement under center. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that Geno Smith will get the start for the Seahawks in their preseason opener, but Drew Lock has clearly been the better quarterback throughout training camp.
The Steelers have their own quarterback conundrum of their own as well. While Mitchell Trubisky is the presumed starter for Week 1 at the moment, he has reportedly struggled throughout camp. Subsequently, Mason Rudolph has performed better in comparison while rookie Kenny Pickett has gradually become more comfortable with the speed of the NFL. Yet we still have no assurance as to who is a lock to start come the regular season. Thus, Pittsburgh will give all three QBs a chance to play on Saturday vs. the Seahawks. Coach Mike Tomlin announced the order will be Trubisky, Rudolph, Pickett.
Mike Tomlin says Mitch Trubisky will start Saturday's preseason opener against the Seahawks. Also says the first team will play the 1st quarter, second team will play the 2nd and 3rd quarters, third team will play the 4th quarter.— Chris Halicke (@ChrisHalicke) August 11, 2022
Rashaad Penny enters as the undisputed lead back for Seattle, and he’s expected to carry a significant load after Chris Carson’s retirement. He’ll likely watch from the sidelines on Saturday, especially with a groin injury, opening up carries for Ken Waker and Travis Homer. DeeJay Dallas and Josh Johnson could also get carries as they sit behind them on the first official depth chart.
For the Steelers, Najee Harris quickly cemented himself last season as a rising star among the running backs in the league. He’ll surely sit on the sidelines throughout the preseason as Pittsburgh keeps him fresh for the regular season campaign. Benny Snell Jr. and Anthony McFarland Jr. should get carries for Saturday’s preseason contest.
DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are locks among the receiver group, so there’s a slim chance they play on Saturday. Marquise Goodwin signed with Seattle in the offseason as added depth and could take the field in the preseason. Freddie Swain and Cody Thompson should also battle it out to round out the receiving corps.
On the Steelers’ side, Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson also have solidified their place on the depth chart. George Pickens was also notably listed as a starter in Pittsburgh’s first official depth chart release. Pickens fell to the Steelers in the second round following an ACL tear in his last college season, so it remains to be seen if he gets snaps on Saturday or if he’s held in the preseason given his hold on a starter spot.
Metcalf and Lockett will need someone to help shoulder the receiving load in 2022, and the tight end group could step up to the plate. Noah Fant joins the Seahawks via trade from the Denver Broncos and could provide an extra receiving threat alongside the veteran Will Dissly. Given his familiarity with Lock, who could very well snag the starting quarterback spot, there is a chance we could see both on the field together throughout the preseason.
Pat Freiermuth had the second-most receiving touchdowns for the Steelers last season and is a locked-in starter for the regular season. He’s also nursing a hamstring injury throughout camp, so he’ll likely remain on the sidelines throughout the preseason. Zach Gentry and Connor Heyward will get snaps in his place starting with Saturday’s contest.