Vannett made two catches for 20 yards and one touchdown in Thursday's 19-17 preseason loss to the Colts.
Vannett lined up as the Seahawks' top tight end since Ed Dickson (groin) was sitting out. The 2016 third-round pick made 12 catches for 124 yards and one score last season. Jimmy Graham is in Green Bay now, so the Seahawks will need another pass-catching tight end to fill the void of his 27 red-zone targets, so Vannett will battle Dickson for those chances.
A 2016 third-round pick, Vannett hasn't had any absences attributed to a back issue, but he did miss games with ankle and shoulder injuries during his first two seasons. Initially expected to replace Luke Willson as Seattle's No. 2 tight end, Vannett has been getting regular work with the first-team offense while Ed Dickson recovers from a groin injury, Mike Vorel of The Seattle Times reports. Though he's known for his blocking more so than his receiving ability, Vannett may display better athleticism now that his back isn't nagging him. The extent of his role likely still depends upon Dickson's health.
The TE room in Seattle was a revolving door this offseason, with free agents Jimmy Graham (to Green Bay) and Luke Willson (to Detroit) moving on and Ed Dickson entering the mix. Known for his blocking ability, Dickson has averaged 1.4 catches per game during his eight-year career, so he isn't a great candidate to fill the void left behind by Graham and Willson. Among the remaining tight ends on the roster, Vannett has built a rapport with Russell Wilson, however minuscule, in two campaigns with the Seahawks. Increasing his share of the offensive snaps from 7.9 percent on 2016 to 26 percent last season, Vannett has corralled 15 of 19 passes for 156 yards (8.2 YPT) and one touchdown since he was selected in the third round two years ago.
Vannett began and finished the season as Seattle's No. 3 tight end behind Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson, but ended the year with similar numbers to Willson, who had 15 receptions for 153 yards. The 24-year-old will head into his sophomore season after flashing his third-round potential in 2017.
Vannett (back) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Cardinals.
Vannett popped up on the injury report Friday after the back issue limited his participation in practice. While it's not believed to be a major concern for Vannett, he was evidently hurting too much to give it a go for the regular-season finale. Tyrone Swoopes will dress as the Seahawks' No. 3 tight end as a result.
|4||9/30/18||@ ARI||4:05 pm|
|6||10/14/18||@ OAK||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 7|
|8||10/28/18||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|10||11/11/18||@ LAR||4:25 pm|
|12||11/25/18||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|15||12/16/18||@ SF||4:05 pm|