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Gerald Everett Keeping His Head Up Following Nightmarish Outing vs. 49ers

Gerald Everett had one of the worst individual performances a non-quarterback could possibly have in the Seahawks' 30-23 win over the 49ers. But as Russell Wilson reaffirmed after the game, the fifth-year tight end has the continued support of his teammates as he looks to recover.

SEATTLE, WA — Leading by a score of 30-23 with less than five minutes to go, the Seahawks had worked their way down to the 49ers' two-yard line. After converting a fourth-and-short situation three plays prior, offensive coordinator Shane Waldron dialed up a shovel pass to his 6-foot-3, 240-pound tight end, Gerald Everett. 

Having played a large role in the team's two turnovers up to that point, Everett was seeking redemption—a chance to be the one to officially snap Seattle's three-game losing streak. Instead, the nightmare only continued for the fifth-year tight end. 

As he cleanly received the shovel attempt from quarterback Russell Wilson, Everett powered his way into a pile of white and blue jerseys. San Francisco successfully plugged the trenches and denied him the end zone—a disappointing result from Seattle's perspective, but one it could ultimately live with. At the very least, the ensuing down would provide an opportunity to take a 10-point lead on a chip-shot field goal attempt for kicker Jason Myers. 

However, the longer the pile-up remained active, the more apparent it became that something horrible had occurred. Upon further review, Everett lost possession as the crown of 49ers linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair's helmet made contact with the football, jarring it loose. A few moments later, cornerback Dontae Johnson held the ball high above his head as the officials signaled a change of possession in San Francisco's favor.

Heartbroken, Everett and his teammates walked over to the sidelines where they could do nothing but watch as the defense tried to maintain its seven-point lead. Things looked bleak for a while as 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and company stormed down the field from one goal line to the other. But in the closing seconds of regulation, the drive stalled and was ultimately brought to an end as Carlos Dunlap swatted a Garoppolo pass into the air for an incompletion. 

As the ball hit the ground, Everett could finally breathe a sigh of relief. In the end, his miscues would not alter his team's fate, though they were more or less the reason it remained up in the air until the final whistle blew. 

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Everett's first fumble immediately led to a 24-yard strike from Garoppolo to tight end George Kittle, which knotted things up at seven points apiece in the first quarter. Then, after special teams artist Nick Bellore forced a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half, a wide-open Everett let a would-be touchdown hit him squarely in the chest, then off his foot and into the arms of cornerback K'Waun Williams. 

In all, these two mistakes resulted in a 14-point swing in the wrong direction for the Seahawks. Nevertheless, from Dunlap to Wilson, Everett's teammates would not allow him to wallow in his failures for too long.

"Well, the one thing I told Gerald is I always will believe in him," Wilson told reporters following the game. "He's a tremendous football player and he's been great for us this season. I went over to him, just talked to him, you know, 'You're going to help us throughout this game and the rest of the season.' Just keep your head clear. I have no doubt what Gerald Everett is going to do, how he's going to respond. He's a competitive warrior out there. He is a tremendous football player. You guys have seen what he's been able to do for us all season. The one guy you don't have to worry about is Gerald Everett—what he's going to bring back to the table and how he's going to play."

It's been a disappointing year for Everett overall. Signing a one-year deal with the Seahawks this past spring, he hoped the move from L.A. to the Pacific Northwest would help him take a major step forward in his career. But though he's been the No. 1 tight end on the team's depth chart, opportunities to succeed have been sparse and the start of his tenure in Seattle was derailed by an early-season bout with COVID-19. 

Through 10 games, he's caught 34 of 44 targets for 279 yards and two touchdowns. But there's still plenty of time for him to consider 2021 an improvement from where he was, heading into the final five-game stretch of the season just 138 yards and one touchdown off his career-high marks in both categories. 

As the aftermath of Sunday night's events proved, he'll have the continued support of his teammates along the way.