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Seattle roster takes shape in 5 minutes

8/29/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

SEATTLE -- The first 5 minutes of the Seahawks' final exhibition game could prove helpful in bringing clarity to the roster heading into the 53-man cutdown Saturday.

Seventh-round rookie running back Justin Forsett continued his recent slide by muffing a punt. The Raiders recovered.

Early in camp, Forsett had been making a strong case for a roster spot, perhaps even at the expense of veteran running back T.J. Duckett. Not any longer. Duckett's 24-yard touchdown run gave the Seahawks a 7-0 lead with 10:50 remaining in the first quarter.

Seneca Wallace is starting at quarterback for the Seahawks. He appears very sharp early in the game. Receiver Ben Obomanu injured a knee after Wallace threw an impressive pass to him in the end zone. Obomanu couldn't quite get to the ball. He returned to make a contested grab up the right seam for a 33-yard gain. The safety might have misjudged his angle, sparing Obomanu from what otherwise might have been a hard collision.

A strong performance from Obomanu could be enough for Obomanu to earn a roster spot. Injuries to Bobby Engram and Deion Branch could convince the Seahawks to keep as many as seven receivers on the 53-man cutdown. Carrying extra receivers becomes a little easier if Forsett projects as a practice-squad player (and I think he does at this point).

I'll update position battles as the game continues. Both teams are resting most of their starters, but Wallace's presence at quarterback for Seattle gives the Seahawks' receivers a very good opportunity to make plays. Wallace has stepped up his game dramatically based on what we've seen from him this summer.

Update: Obomanu has suffered a shoulder injury. His return to the game is doubtful, according to the Seahawks. A significant injury to Obomanu could clear up the receiver race in a hurry. Logan Payne has struggled a bit lately, but he could have an easier time earning a roster spot if Obomanu isn't available.