One of the issues the Seattle Seahawks wanted to settle in their exhibition finale was determining who will start for Kam Chancellor should the team leader and strong safety extend his 35-day-old holdout into the regular season.
It appears it will be Dion Bailey. Even a less-than-fully healthy Bailey.
He made his second consecutive start Thursday night against Oakland, and he was one of the few first-teamers who actually began the game. The 2014 undrafted free agent from USC who spent last season injured on Seattle’s practice squad played about one series, then spent the rest of the first half on the sideline watching and wearing a black, cast-like bulbous wrap over his left hand and wrist.
Bailey returned to the field on the front line of the kickoff-return team to begin the third quarter, the stayed on the sideline while Ronald Martin and deeper reserves played safety in the second half.
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Coach Pete Carroll said after the 31-21 win over the Raiders that Bailey’s had a hand issue lately but that in no way would it limit in for the start of the regular season.
Were Bailey to have an injury that would prevent him from playing Sept. 13 at St. Louis, DeShawn Shead could be Chancellor’s fill-in against the Rams. Though the fact Bailey was well enough wrapped to play in a relatively meaningless game suggests he’ll be even better in 10 days to begin the regular season unexpectedly in the lineup on the league’s top-ranked defense the past two seasons.
“He can tape it up and go,” Carroll said, before adding in an unsolicited hint of his place on this team, “he’s had a great summer.”
Of course, Chancellor could end all the potential alternatives by simply reporting prior to that. He will lose $267,647 per game missed — one-seventeenth of his base salary of $4.55 million this year — if he extends his holdout.
The 27-year-old is also risking a maximum team fine of $1 million — the amount of his 2015 proration of his signing bonus on his five-year contract he signed before the 2013 season — but that’s at the team’s discretion whether to enforce.
“We have to go ahead with the guys we have,” Carroll said. “It’s like he’s injured. He’s not out there.”
For now — and apparently St. Louis — Dion Bailey is out there.
THOMAS RETURNING INCREMENTALLY
Earl Thomas warmed up with the team in full uniform before the game, for the first time since Super Bowl 49 on Feb. 1. But he did not play, as coach Pete Carroll had assured he wouldn’t.
The All-Pro free safety had shoulder surgery three weeks after that game. He did not play at all this preseason but practiced without a red, no-contact jersey this week for the first time since the procedure. Carroll says Thomas is on track to play in the opener at St. Louis.
SEISAY’S INAUSPICIOUS PLAY MAY COST HIM
Seahawks coaches were curious what they’d get in tall, long Mohammed Seisay on Thursday. They have been curious for weeks in the second-year cornerback from Nebraska for whom Seattle traded a sixth-round draft choice in 2016 to Detroit last month because Seisay has been out with a groin injury since soon after he arrived.
In the first half, Seisay got beaten three times by three different Raiders on pass routes behind him. The third time resulted in Oakland’s first touchdown, 6 yards from Matt McGloin to Seth Roberts that made it 17-7 in the second quarter.
Then late in the third quarter Seisay dropped a sure interception deep down the left sideline on a pass McGloin overthrew his receiver by 5 yards.
To make a bad night worse, Seisay left late in the game with doctors holding his left arm. Carroll said Seisay has a dislocated shoulder.
With Tharold Simon steady on the other corner Thursday in his most extension action since he played the final three quarters of February’s Super Bowl, Seisay might have played himself out of a roster spot as backup cornerback behind starters Richard Sherman and Cary Williams.
Christine Michael, trying to keep his roster spot as the third tailback in the days after free-agent RB and Marshawn Lynch buddy Fred Jackson visited and took a Seahawks physical, had 39 yards on eight carries running behind the first- and second-team line in the opening half. … R.J. Archer entered after Wilson and completed 5 of 10 passes while getting sacked once. Seattle managed one field goal on offense in the two quarters he played, until B.J. Daniels replaced him midway through the third quarter. … Daniels, last year’s third quarterback who converted this spring and summer to wide receiver, was back at QB because Tarvaris Jackson took one more game off to rest his high-ankle sprain. Daniels immediately sparked the offense on an 80-yard drive to Seattle’s third touchdown and a 24-14 lead with a pump-fake that sent Oakland (and former Washington Huskies) defensive end Josh Shirley skyward on Daniels’ run for a first down. Daniels ended the drive with a pretty, 15-yard touchdown pass in the back, left corner of the end zone that undrafted rookie and former UW wide receiver Kasen Williams dived and caught with one arm as he hit the ground. … Jackson, Wilson’s primary backup should be ready for the opener, Carroll has said. … Taylor Mays played most of the last three quarters as Oakland’s strong safety. The former O’Dea High School star in Seattle and leader for Carroll at USC signed with the Raiders a couple weeks ago and has a chance to earn a spot in Oakland’s thin secondary. Mays’ dad is Stafford Mays, who’s from Lincoln High in Tacoma. Stafford Mays starred on the defensive line for UW in the late 1970s. He went on to play for the Cardinals and Vikings from 1980-88. … The team has three days off from practice before getting back on the field Monday for a regular game week prior to its trip next Friday to St. Louis. The final roster cut down from 75 players to the 53-man roster to begin the regular season is due by 1 p.m. Saturday.