Just two days after the sports world was buzzing about Michael Crabtree‘s torn Achilles and how it affected the San Francisco 49er’s shot at another Super Bowl berth this year, the Seattle Seahawks have suffered their own Achilles tear, coming in the form of tight end Anthony McCoy.
As was first tweeted by Mike Garafolo of USA Today, McCoy tore his Achilles this week and underwent surgery yesterday. Here’s his tweet:
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) May 24, 2013
With 2013 being a year that could see the Seahawks chase one of their best seasons in team history, any injury, especially to a guy who saw a significant amount of snaps last year, is important to look at.
Here’s what to make of the injury to McCoy.
It has now been confirmed by the Seahawks and looks like McCoy hurt himself during OTA’s. Coming off the field on Monday due to an ankle injury, it’s safe to say that it was this incident that caused his Achilles tear.
McCoy was fairly reliable for the Seahawks when called upon last year, playing in 45.5 percent of the offensive snaps for Seattle last season (as noted by ESPN). In total he hauled in 18 passes for 291 yards (16.2 yards per catch) and three touchdowns. Of his 18 catches, 13 were for first downs.
He was targeted just 27 times last year but clearly made the most of the times he was given the ball.
Heading into his fourth season in the NFL, McCoy wasn’t the starter but figured to play an important role once again for the Seahawks in 2013.
In fact, last year the Seahawks’ best plays on first and second down came from a two tight end set. While they ran more plays (470) with one tight end than with two (316), Seattle managed 6.2 yards per play with two tight ends and 6.1 yards per play with one tight end.
Not the biggest difference, it’s still relatively important to factor McCoy’s injury into this formula.
But as well as he has played for Seattle, McCoy’s injury isn’t devastating. As mentioned previously, he wasn’t the starter and was targeted just 27 times last year. He was reliable but never the big impact guy who could make a huge difference if he was on the field.
Seattle still has Zach Miller healthy and ready to further the offense as well as a slough of backups (Darren Fells, Cooper Helfet, Victor Marshall, Sean McGrath, Luke Willson, and Matt Austin) who are ready to see NFL action.
The injury to McCoy isn’t as significant in the grand scheme because, when you look at who Seattle has brought in this offseason, most experts are suggesting we’ll see a whole lot more one tight ends set instead of two.
The addition of Percy Harvin made this pretty obvious, as Seattle will now look to put three receivers on the field and really spread opposing defenses out. McCoy’s blocking will of course be missed, and hard to make up for.
Seattle will now look to another player to fill the shoes of McCoy for the time being, and while there are players on the roster with multiple years of experience at tight end, we’ll pencil in rookie Luke Willson to McCoy’s spot for now.
Drafted in the fifth round, Willson comes from Rice and was relatively unheard of before Seattle picked him up. But it’s clear that this guy can play.
He still obviously has a lot of work to do before the season starts, but Willson looks the part of a tight end who can really open up the field and give the Seahawks some speed at the position, complimenting their offense that will look to be one of the fastest in the league.
So while the loss of McCoy is rough, he should be able to come back sometime in 2013 and Willson will be a viable alternative who can give Seattle some of the same looks as McCoy while bringing a new kind of dynamic to an already potent offense.