Jordyn Brooks, Seattle's first-round pick in the 2020 draft, will make his first NFL start when the Seahawks host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, head coach Pete Carroll said.
Brooks earned positive reviews from coaches and teammates throughout training camp, but happened to also be part of one of Seattle's deepest position groups, and opened the season as the backup at weakside linebacker behind K.J. Wright.
Brooks did spell Wright for a few series in Seattle's first two games, playing a total of 15 defensive snaps, but now that strongside linebacker Bruce Irvin is out for the season due to a knee injury, Brooks will step into a starting role.
"This is an opportunity for Jordyn Brooks to start," Carroll said. "We'll let you see how that works out, but he is going to take the opportunity to step up and be part of the three linebacker situations, so we're looking forward to it."
But while Carroll confirmed Brooks will start, he wasn't saying at which position, indicating that decision won't be made public until gameday. Carroll has said in the past that Brooks has the versatility to play all three linebacker spots, so he could step right into Irvin's role, but if the Seahawks want to keep the rookie at the position he played throughout camp and the first two weeks of the season, another option could be to move Wright from weakside to strongside linebacker, a position he played early in his Seahawks career.
Regardless of where Brooks plays on Sunday, the Seahawks are excited to see what he can bring to the defense, even if they also know they'll be some inevitable learning that has to take place for a rookie making his first start.
"He can do everything that we're asking our guys to do," Carroll said. "Really, he's equipped to do it. It's just experience, that's all he's missing out on. He's going to be able to do everything, whether he's coming off the edge, or he's covering guys down the field, pressuring, he's a good tackler, he's a good hitter, he diagnoses real well—we saw that from the mock game on, he had some nice plays there. He just needs to get out there. Will there be some mistakes? Yeah, like a young guy does, he'll miss some things at times, but we'll make up for it around him as he's developing."
Bobby Wagner, who will be directing Brooks and the rest of the defense around him, likes what he has seen from the rookie linebacker thus far, and thinks people will like what Brooks brings to the defense on Sunday.
"It's been a very, very tough situation for him with not having an offseason really, and kind of just being thrown into the fire with not having any preseason games, so his ability to just lock in, focus, and learn the plays, it speaks about how much he cares about the game.
"I definitely think his speed is going to pop off on tape for sure. How would I describe this game? I definitely think he's a physical linebacker. He likes to come downhill. If you watch him in college, he made a lot of TFLs and plays in the backfield, just because he's so aggressive. So we'll expect that same type of attitude."
The Seahawks and Cowboys face off on Thursday Night Football, Nov. 30, 2023. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. PT. Take a look back through history at the Seahawks' matchups against the Cowboys.