Seahawks expect Paul Richardson to play Sunday vs the Cardinals

Getting speedy second-year wideout Paul Richardson back on the field for the Seahawks could be a much bigger deal than most realize. Here's why.

The visiting Arizona Cardinals may not be the only NFC West team with a high-flying passing attack Sunday.

Seahawks Pete Carroll suggested that second-year wideout Paul Richardson could be back Sunday against the Cardinals, stating that "We're going to put him right back in."

The insertion of the speedy Richardson back into Seattle's lineup may provide an immediate shot in the arm to a Seahawks offense that has struggled to move the ball consistently this season. Seattle currently ranks 28th in the NFL in the passing game, averaging just 213.6 yards per game.

It would be the first game of the year for Richardson, who to this point has been rehabbing a surgically-repaired ACL torn in last year's divisional round playoff victory over the Carolina Panthers.

With the Seahawks winning a week later in dramatic fashion over Green Bay Packers to secure the club's second consecutive trip to the Super Bowl, it may have been easy for some to forget what an integral part of Seattle's passing attack Richardson had become by the late portion of the year.

Richardson caught "just" 29 passes for 271 yards and a single touchdown as a rookie but averaged six targets a game over the final three regular season contests of the year, recording 13 catches for 142 yards and the score during that span. And that, of course, came as Seattle's primary deep threat. With tight end Jimmy Graham and fellow speedster Tyler Lockett now on the field for Seattle, the hope inside the VMAC is that opposing defenses will be spread paper thin in an effort to slow down the Seahawks' most athletic pass-catchers.

That, in turn, would potentially open up rushing lanes for Marshawn Lynch (and Russell Wilson) to exploit.

Richardson's apparent readiness doesn't come a moment too soon for the Seahawks, who face formidable test Sunday against a blitz-happy Cardinals blessed with one of the most athletic and aggressive secondaries in all of the NFL. Top Stories