Bryan Mone may not be a household name like several of the Seahawks biggest defensive stars such as Bobby Wagner or Jamal Adams. But the team learned how invaluable he is to the team's success on that side of the football during a 33-30 loss to the Titans last Sunday.
Dealing with a triceps/elbow injury that limited him in practice throughout the week, Mone was inactive against Tennessee, leaving a huge hole in the middle of the defensive line. While Seattle did contain running back Derrick Henry for a half, holding him to 2.7 yards per carry, the two-time defending rushing champion went off in the final two quarters and overtime, finishing with 182 rushing yards and three touchdowns to guide his team back from a 15-point deficit for a signature road win.
Other factors such as a 20-minute time of possession discrepancy played a role in the struggles stopping Henry in the second half, but not having Mone available loomed large as the Seahawks defensive line fatigued down the stretch. Thankfully, after not being listed on the team's final injury report, the massive 345-pound run stuffer will be back in action against the Vikings this weekend.
“There’s no doubt that we missed him last week," coach Pete Carroll said in his Friday press conference. "He’s such a load in the middle. He played so well early. He’s been really so consistent for us. We did miss him last week. I’m thrilled to tell you he is playing, and he’ll be ready to go."
Now in his third season in the NFL, Mone has emerged as a critical component of Seattle's defensive line. In a season-opening win against Indianapolis earlier this month, he dominated with a career-high five tackles, including racking up three consecutive tackles before the Seahawks thwarted a fourth down attempt the Colts in the third quarter to force a turnover on downs.
Surprisingly, Mone has developed into a reliable interior pass rusher as well. After producing nine pressures and a sack in 2020, he hit Carson Wentz twice in the opener, including blasting him to force an incompletion in the second quarter.
Back in action against the Vikings, the Seahawks will be counting on Mone to help corral Dalvin Cook, who finished second in the NFL in rushing a year ago. Rotating in with starters Poona Ford and Al Woods, they'll also hope for him to continue providing contributions as a pass rusher collapsing the pocket for Kirk Cousins.
"He’s just one of the heart and soul guys of the program and everybody’s favorite," Carroll said. "He plays so darn hard. He’ll be a great boost to us. He’ll help Al [Woods] and Poona [Ford] inside. Keep the rotation alive like the start of the season. Hopefully we’ll get to see a good deal of him and a good rotation with that.”