Versatile RB J.D. McKissic Back in Action for Seahawks

Corbin Smith

The Seattle Seahawks talented backfield looks primed to become even stronger heading into the team’s final six games.

According to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, the Seahawks officially used one of their two designated to return tags on running J.D. McKissic, who has been sidelined with a Jones fracture in his foot since the start of the regular season.

McKissic suffered the injury during Seattle’s second preseason game in Los Angeles, but the team kept him on the initial 53-man roster before placing him on injured reserve. He’s been eligible to return to practice for a couple of weeks, but coach Pete Carroll indicated the team wanted to give him a bit more time rather than rush him back.

Now that McKissic is back in the fold, Seattle will have three weeks to decide whether or not to activate him to the 53-man roster. If the Seahawks do bring him back, third-year running back C.J. Prosise could be the odd man out with Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, and Mike Davis already in front of him on the depth chart.

When asked about where Prosise fits if and when McKissic returns, Carroll simply stated on Friday that the Seahawks “can’t keep everyone up” with so much depth at the position, though he feels frustrated for Prosise.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen, J.D. complicates it more by being a really good player. J.D.’s one of the better special teams guys as well of that group.” Carroll told reporters. “We’ll just wait it all out, figure it out and have to make some tough decisions. It really bothers me that C.J. is not part of this because C.J. is worthy of being a part of it. It’s just kind of the rotations and how it’s fitted together.”

Prosise has only carried the ball once for negative three yards this season and has been a healthy scratch for most of Seattle’s games. After battling numerous injuries his first two seasons, he hasn’t had much of a chance to find a role with the Seahawks and McKissic’s versatility as well as special teams value could bring his tenure with the team to an end.

In regard to where McKissic fits in Seattle’s backfield rotation, Carroll and his coaching staff have already been challenged trying to split snaps among Carson, Penny, and Davis. But the former Arkansas State standout could give the Seahawks an added dimension as the team’s third down back due to his ability to make plays after the catch, as he caught 34 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns last season.

Given his background as a receiver at the college level, McKissic could also have a small role awaiting him as a fifth receiving option as well.

“It’s a good issue. It’s a good concern.” Carroll said. “J.D. McKissic is going to come back to practice this week for the first time, so he’ll have a chance to see what he can do to make it more confusing and challenging, but that’s a good thing.”

With the decision to use one of the team’s designated to return tags on McKissic, Seattle could bring back one other player from injured reserve later in the year. However, the only two players eligible currently are safety Earl Thomas and tight end Will Dissly, who each suffered severe injuries and won’t be back this season.