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DK Metcalf Has Been a Castaway Since Russell Wilson’s Return

While the Seahawks' season looks like something resembling a shipwreck or a plane crash, DK Metcalf seems to be marooned on an island with the offensive scheme since Russell Wilson's return.

DK Metcalf came into this season with expectations of a repeat Pro Bowl season; and why should he have expected anything else? In 2020, at just 23 years old, Metcalf put together one of the most prolific seasons by a Seahawks receiver in franchise history, setting the team record with 1,303 yards while adding 10 touchdowns.

Plus, he came into 2021 with one of the best quarterbacks in the league tossing him the pigskin in Russell Wilson.

As we all know, the season has been turbulent at best and disastrous at worst. The plane is pointing its nose firmly downward, having lost most of its engine power. Wilson suffered a brutal finger injury in Week 5 and the team has not recovered, particularly on offense.

The fact that Metcalf hardly skipped a beat with backup Geno Smith at the controls is an enigma. He averaged six targets and 74 yards per game with five total touchdowns in Weeks 5-8, which includes the three games Wilson missed.

He hasn't had a 100-yard game since Week 3 and has not scored a touchdown since Halloween. 

Since Wilson’s return, Metcalf is averaging a measly 23.3 yards per game and saw just four targets for one catch in Monday night’s debacle in Landover, Maryland. He didn't see his first target of the game until late in the third quarter. Then, when the Seahawks were trying to tie the game with a two-point conversion, Wilson didn't even acknowledge the wide-open Metcalf running free in the middle of the end zone. 

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Perhaps the result on Monday night is different if Metcalf is more of a focal point. 

Through 11 games thus far, he has tallied just 650 yards on 76 targets. Through 11 contests last year, he was already up over 1,000 yards on 90 targets. 

Why has Metcalf been resorted to a castaway on an abandoned island, seemingly shipwrecked and separated from the plans of Wilson and offensive coordinator Shane Waldron? Facing the 28th-ranked pass defense in Washington leaves little excuse for Metcalf's lack of involvement. Even if the defense is scheming against Metcalf, double-covering him or bracketing him with a corner and safety, he is talented and physical enough to garner more targets and win those battles with defensive backs. 

"He's one of the best football players in the world," Wilson said after the team's 17-15 defeat in Washington. "You gotta get him the football, gotta find ways to do it, gotta move him around some more maybe. We're gonna study it and see what we can do. He made the clutch second or third down. Big play that was huge because it gave us a chance to keep going. If anybody loves him, I love him. We know that he's a big factor for us and we need to utilize him as much as possible."

So what does Metcalf need to do to garner the full attention of his star quarterback? Shoot a flare in the air? Make a message out of rocks in the sand that can be seen from a helicopter spelling out “target me?" Why is Metcalf not the focal point of this offense, which has shown little ability to run the ball? He’s one of the most physically gifted receivers in the NFL, yet he starves for targets like Tom Hanks starves for food following his plane crash onto a deserted island. Seattle is wasting perhaps its most elite receiving talent it's had in decades, while its season floats away like flotsam from a shipwreck on top of the wavy ocean water. 

The lack of targets and involvement for Metcalf may have fans screaming the name "WILSON!" Except this time, it's a quarterback and not a volleyball-turned-best-friend.