Jermaine Kearse had a wonderful Saturday evening. Before the Seahawks second week preseason matchup against the Denver Broncos even began, Kearse ran out onto the field carrying the 12th Man Flag. And before the 1st quarter had even ended, he had carried the football across the goal line twice. The first came via a 12-yard reception from Russell Wilson after the second-year quarterback had fumbled the snap from pro bowl center Max Unger. Next Kearse ran back a kickoff 107 yards, stiff arming a defender to the ground to finish off the score.
Kearse has been fighting for a roster spot this off season after a rookie year with the Seahawks that saw him contribute largely on special teams. Last season he had to fight his way on the team as an undrafted free agent. Now he is nearly certain to make the roster, and is almost as likely to contribute in the regular season passing attack. Now with two receiving touchdowns in the first two weeks, and his newfound role as a kickoff returner, it becomes easier and easier to picture Kearse contributing big plays in big games.
He has always been praised for his crisp route running, and it’s easy to forget that he possesses 4.43 speed. Yet when he graduated from Washington, some even said they were glad to see his career as a Husky end due to the frequency of his drops. Regardless, he was a favorite target of Jake Locker and finished out his senior season as one of the most statistically prolific receivers in Washington history. After getting LASIK surgery to fix poor vision, it appears that the drops are solved. That makes Kearse an asset.
With Percy Harvin out for an extended period of time with a hip injury and Sidney Rice a consistent injury risk, his emergence comes at a great time for Washington’s overall depth at receiver. And for Washington fans that also root for the Seahawks, it’s just that much better.