Golden Tate Out, Now What?

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Word is trickling out that the injury Golden Tate suffered in the last pre-season game is going to keep him out a while. Danny O’Neil mentioned it in passing at the end his article today. A couple reliable sources outside the team have told me he has a high ankle sprain in addition to some knee issues that should keep him out at least a couple of weeks, and likely longer. Tate was penciled in as the starting split end opposite Sidney Rice. It will be telling to see who the Seahawks run with in Tate’s absence.

Here are the choices:

Ben Obomanu
Obomanu can play all three receiver positions, and knows the offense better than the other options. That means Darrell Bevell could run the full range of plays without hesitation.

Braylon Edwards
Edwards practiced at split end throughout camp. He has shown he still has a knack for making plays down the field, and his height presents problems for opposing corners.

Charly Martin
Martin is a more logical slot receiver, but he can play multiple spots, and is the type of player coaches have confidence in.

Doug Baldwin + Anthony McCoy/Evan Moore
Baldwin is coming off his own injury, and we can’t be sure he will play until he takes the field. The coaches could choose to run two receiver sets featuring Baldwin and Rice that likely would include more two tight end sets. Baldwin is one of the best receivers on this team, so more time for him is never a bad thing.

My first instinct is to assume Edwards takes the starting role. He is sexy pick as the new player who has flashed big-play potential, but Obomanu seems the most likely. The team has started him multiple times the past two years, and knows what they are getting with him. The defense may dictate which of these combinations get the most play in the first game, so who starts may not be the guy who gets the most snaps.

The starter may change in the next few weeks depending on how things play out in the first game. Edwards feels like the guy who should ascend, and if he does, the job may not be there for Tate when he returns. 

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