The Seahawks received some good news on Tuesday as standout rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon appears to be potentially on track to play against the Steelers. Witherspoon missed the team’s game against the Titans with a hip pointer, but Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said on Tuesday that Witherspoon was starting to run, and that the prognosis for his injury was much better than last week.
“He’s running today, that’s a really good sign,” Carroll said on the Brock & Salk Show. “He tried really hard on game day, he was out there, trying to get it done, see if he could get through it. He just couldn’t get loosened up enough to go, so let’s all keep our fingers crossed. I just want to see the guy play football some more, we love watching him
In his place, former Steelers cornerback Artie Burns has played. Burns who has stepped up in the slot without Witherspoon. He had eight tackles against the Tennessee Titans in their 20-17 win. Burns has transformed his career from one that started out as a player who was labeled a bust, and has turned into an ideal special teamer and dependable backup in Seattle.
In the last two weeks, Burns has allowed six receptions on seven targets for 50 yards. He has not allowed a touchdown and is limiting yards after the catch. And at the very least, he is giving the Seahawks the competitive reps they need, but a game against his former team the Steelers presents a unique opportunity for Burns to make a little bit of a statement to the team who drafted him.
Burns, 28, was the Steelers’ first-round draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, but he lost his starting job in Pittsburgh by the end of his tenure, which triggered the Steelers to decline the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. They let him walk, and he signed with the Bears. Burns suffered a torn ACL in Chicago but was able to battle in Seattle’s training camp and earn a roster spot for the last two seasons.