The first time Dee Eskridge touched the ball, he took a fly sweep carry for a relatively easy nine yards, the type of play that perfectly suits the speedy rookie receiver's skillset.
Four plays later, Eskridge used that speed to quickly get open in the middle of the field where Geno Smith hit him for a 19-yard gain.
Those two plays represented Eskridge's only touches in Seattle's 27-0 preseason victory over the Chargers, but they were enough to show why the Seahawks are so excited about the second-round pick out of Western Michigan.
Eskridge, who opened training camp on the physically unable to perform list with a toe injury, has practiced the past two weeks, but Saturday night marked his first game action, and being on the field, even with a limited workload, was an important step for a player the Seahawks are hoping can be a big part of their offense.
"He's one of the guys who'd never played before, and he gets a chance to get out there," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "He felt great, had fun, liked it. He's really pumped up about moving forward. He's had a couple of really good weeks for us and looked terrific, so there was nothing different about it. He's a good ballplayer. He's fast and he's quick and explosive, and his hands are really strong and really good. His mentality is really strong about competing and all. He looks like the guy we had hoped that we would get when picked him, and we're trilled about it at this time. He's got a lot of work to do to catch up to play first-flight football in a real game and all."
Eskridge called it "a blessing" to see his first game action after missing so much time in training camp, noting, "It's definitely been a hard process the last couple of weeks, but this is the light, I finally got to get back on the field with the teammates. It felt great."
As for the fly sweep, it's a play that could become a big part of Eskridge's game in the NFL—he referred to it as "my specialty" having done it frequently in college—and as it showed when that same motion helped open things up for an 8-yard Alex Collins run on the same drive, even the threat of Eskridge or another speedy receiver taking the handoff while in motion can help the running game.
Eskridge also had one of the lines of the night when he was asked about what it takes to be good at running the fly sweep, saying, "Good? I don't know. Great? Run fast like me."
Pregame photos of the Seahawks warming up to take on the Los Angeles Charges in their third preseason at Lumen Field on August 28, 2021.