The battle over who will serve as Russell Wilson‘s backup in Seattle this season will continue throughout Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders.
Both Geno Smith and Paxton Lynch have missed a game due to injury over the first three weeks of preseason games. Smith had a cyst surgically removed from his knee and missed the second game against the Minnesota Vikings. Lynch was concussed from a shot to the head by Vikings cornerback Holton Hill and missed the third game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday. Each will have a final impression to make against the Raiders before roster cuts this weekend.
“They’ve both had their moments. Certainly,” head coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday. “They’ve basically taken care of the ball really well. It’s just an important factor. They can both run the offense. I’m really anxious to get another assessment here, especially on Paxton. He’s going to play in this game. Those two guys, he and Geno will split it and see how they do.”
Smith has completed 14 of 27 passes for 175 yards while being sacked three times. He’s also rushed for 45 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
Lynch’s numbers are marginally better. He’s completed 17 of 30 passes for 176 yards and a touchdown while being sacked once. He’s also rushed for a touchdown, gaining 37 yards and on six carries.
Smith has been the steadier option throughout training camp while Lynch has had the greater variance with more highlight plays but more mistakes as well.
The Seahawks have rarely had three quarterbacks on their active roster during Carroll’s tenure as head coach. B.J. Daniels spent time on the active roster, primarily as a receiver, after initially playing quarterback for the team. But carrying three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster has not been a regular occurrence.
With that in mind, Smith and Lynch will have one final audition to make their case they deserve the job against the Raiders Thursday night.