When the Seahawks used a third-round pick on C.J. Prosise in 2016, the former Notre Dame running back looked as though he’d be an integral part of the Seattle offense. Penciled into a backfield that also included Christine Michael and Thomas Rawls, Prosise was viewed as a capable runner and a valuable receiver, a dual threat back who could contribute in multiple facets of the game.
But Prosise simply hasn’t been able to stay on the field. He showed flashes during his rookie campaign, especially during a Week 9 nine start in which he handled 17 carries for 66 yards while adding seven receptions for 87 yards. However, Prosise fractured his scapula in the Seahawks’ next contest and was subsequently placed on injured reserve. An ankle injury ended his season in 2017, and multiple ailments (abdomen, groin, and hip flexor) landed him on IR in 2018.
The injuries haven’t stopped in 2019. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll revealed in March that Prosise had recently undergone surgery. And just last month, the now-25-year-old tweaked his hamstring at Seahawks minicamp.
In three seasons with the Seahawks, Prosise’s totals are unsightly. He’s only managed to play in 16 games, rushing 42 times for 192 yards and one touchdown while hauling in 26 catches for 317 yards. Heading into a critical fourth year in Seattle, what are Prosise’s odds of making the Seahawks roster?
Seattle, notably, was the only NFL team to run the ball on more than 50% of its offensive plays in 2019, so the club certainly needs a cavalcade of running backs. But with 2018 starter Chris Carson and 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny locked into roster spots, Prosise will be competing with the likes of J.D. McKissic, Travis Homer, Bo Scarbrough, and Marcelias Sutton for a role.
McKissic is probably Prosise’s main competition, as both offer third-down promise as receiving backs (and both played wide receiver in college). Like Prosise, McKissic has also battled injuries, and he missed the first half of the 2018 campaign with a foot issue. But as recently as 2017, McKissic was productive, posting 34 receptions on 46 targets for 266 yards while ranking as a top-20 back in efficiency in both rushing and receiving, per Football Outsiders.
Another factor working against Prosise is special teams. Prosise has rarely played on teams throughout his pro career, while McKissic has offered at least some special teams capabilities. McKissic is competent in the return game, which could be important if the Seahawks need to give No. 1 wideout Tyler Lockett a breather from return duties.
Given his lengthy injury history and lack of production, Prosise won’t attract much of a trade market. So if he isn’t able to stick on Seattle’s roster, Prosise could be in danger of hitting the waiver wire in early September — or perhaps even sooner.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.