Terrell Owens may not have made an impact in his brief time with the Seattle Seahawks, but Russell Wilson sure has opened a few eyes during the team's first two preseason games.
With a chance to seize a starting quarterback position that's still up for grabs, Wilson will draw a surprise start for the Seahawks as they head to Arrowhead Stadium for a rehearsal contest against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Wilson, Seattle's third-round choice in this past April's draft following a stellar collegiate career at North Carolina State and Wisconsin, entered camp as the underdog in a three-man battle to be the team's No. 1 signal-caller. The rookie has been terrific in his two preseason appearances -- albeit against second-team defenses -- to emerge as perhaps the favorite to be under center when the Seahawks open the regular season at Arizona on Sept. 9.
After going 12-of-16 for 124 yards with a touchdown and adding a 32-yard scoring scramble in Seattle's victory over Tennessee on Aug. 11, Wilson threw for 155 yards and two touchdowns while leading the Seahawks to 21 second-half points and a 30-10 triumph at Denver this past Saturday.
"It's just exciting to watch this kid play," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said of Wilson when announcing that the 23-year-old would start Friday's contest. "His ability to make first downs, sometimes throwing the football and sometimes with his legs, has been obvious."
Carroll did caution that a final decision on the starting quarterback has yet to be determined, though it's apparent that 2011 regular Tarvaris Jackson is no longer in the mix. Matt Flynn, Seattle's most notable free-agent addition during the offseason, does remain a viable contender despite the ex-Green Bay backup's uneventful performance against the Broncos.
Flynn managed just 31 yards on 6-of-13 passes in the first half, with five of his seven incompletions coming on targets to Owens. One of those misfires was a would-be 46-yard touchdown that the mouthy wide receiver dropped after getting behind the defense.
Owens, signed by the Seahawks shortly prior to the first preseason game after spending all of 2011 out of the NFL, is fighting for a roster spot that isn't guaranteed. The 38-year-old may face an even more uphill climb with Sidney Rice, Seattle's top wideout, ready to return to action this weekend after missing the team's initial two outings while on the mend from shoulder surgery.
Slot receiver Doug Baldwin won't suit up for a third straight week, however, due to a hamstring injury, but the Seahawks may get fellow wideout Ben Obomanu (neck) and tight end Zach Miller (concussion) back in the lineup.
The Chiefs received some mixed news as they prepare for their critical third game of the preseason schedule. Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe finally ended a three-week holdout by signing his franchise tender offer last Friday, but the team found out earlier this week that Pro Bowl outside linebacker Tamba Hali would be suspended for the club's Week 1 opener against Atlanta for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Bowe did report in good shape and is slated to receive some snaps in this matchup. The three-time 1,000-yard wideout's return is welcome news for Matt Cassel, though the veteran quarterback fared pretty well without Bowe in last Saturday's 31-17 loss at St. Louis.
Cassel worked the entire first half against the Rams and was a crisp 13-of-18 for 142 yards. He showed a strong rapport with free-agent addition Kevin Boss, with the former Raiders tight end amassing game highs of four catches and 62 yards.
Brady Quinn, engaged in a competition with second-year pro Ricky Stanzi for the primary backup job behind Cassel, may have secured that spot after completing 5-of-6 throws for 70 yards and a touchdown in relief.
Cornerback Brandon Flowers (foot) will be held out a third straight game for Kansas City, which began its preseason with a 27-17 home decision over Arizona.
Seattle has won all four of the previous preseason meetings between the teams, the most recent being a 14-10 triumph at Arrowhead Stadium in 2009. The Chiefs did exact a measure of revenge via a 42-24 victory in Seattle during the 2010 regular season, however.