How done are the Seahawks with Cary Williams starting at cornerback?
They are paying him $3.5 million guaranteed this season to be inactive today against one of their biggest threats to throw at their secondary all season, Ben Roethlisberger and the deep-passing Pittsburgh Steelers.
Seattle making Williams inactive for Sunday’s game leaves DeShawn Shead likely to start and Jeremy Lane making his season debut as nickel back. Shead replaced Williams for the final 1 1/2 quarters of the Seahawks’ win last week over San Francisco.
Seattle signed Williams in March in free agency from Philadelphia for three years and $18 million to replace departed free agent Byron Maxwell as the starting cornerback opposite All-Pro Richard Sherman. But Williams has had issues all season, first with Seattle’s unique “step-and-kick” technique of jamming receivers and then turning to run with them at the line and then with zone coverage on deep passes. Opponents have continually burned Williams and the Seahawks on those, prompting the change and now demotion to not even being in uniform.
The rest of the Seahawks’ inactives. vs. Pittsburgh: WR Paul Richardson (hamstring), rookie CB Tye Smith, RB Marshawn Lynch (abdominal surgery on Wednesday), LB Eric Pinkins, C Drew Nowak and OL Kristjan Sokoli.
With Nowak inactive again, the Seahawks had 15 combined starts this season (Williams 10, Nowak the first five games) on the sidelines in sweatsuits Sunday.
Outside linebacker Bruce Irvin was active of hardly practicing the last two weeks because of a sprained knee ligament.