So what are the Seahawks’ options if right tackle Breno Giacomini can’t play on Sunday against the Texans, and everything that Houston defense can throw at you?
It’s next man up, and in this case that’s rookie Michael Bowie.
The Seahawks already are playing without Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung, who last week was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return because of a toe injury. Next man up? Left guard Paul McQuistan, who started last week’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and also will be the blocker protecting Russell Wilson’s blind side in Houston. But at least McQuistan had started there before and, in his eighth NFL season and third with the Seahawks, has more experience in their blocking scheme than any of the linemen.
For Bowie, a seventh-round selection in April’s NFL Draft, this would be his first start – although he got plenty of action in the second half of last week’s 45-17 victory. But the Jaguars didn’t have reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt staring Bowie in the facemask.
“I’m ready to go,” Bowie said when asked about the possible matchup with Watt. “I live for moments like this. I’m anxious. It’s a big test for me. But it’s going to allow me to see where I’m at.”
The first peek at his progress came last week.
“Guys are pretty good out there, but it wasn’t too much for me to handle,” Bowie said of his regular-season baptism. “I just feel like getting out there early in the season probably will help me throughout the season.”
The 6-foot-4, 332-pound Bowie was inactive for the first two games after getting a bruised shoulder in the preseason finale. But at least if he does have to start Sunday, Bowie has the experience gained from last week, as well as that from working at right tackle with the No. 1 line all week in practice.
“The speed of the game is a little faster, so I feel like I have an upper hand of getting out there and doing what I need to do and execute all my assignments,” Bowie said.
This might be putting the concern before the cause. Giacomini has not been ruled out because of the sore knee that forced him to leave last week’s game and miss practice this week.
Asked what he saw from Bowie and fellow rookie tackle Alvin Bailey against the Jaguars, line coach Tom Cable said, “Some really cool stuff. I’m really excited about their future, our future. I thought both those kids went in there and knocked people off the ball, protected really well. They got comfortable really quick, which was a huge moment of growth, if you will, that they’re OK; they can handle it in a regular NFL game. So very pleased with what we saw.”
The question now: How much of Bowie will we see on Sunday?