Pioneering Seahawks LB Griffin to start in Week 1

To outside observers, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin has one hand.

But to Griffin, what matters most is that he has one goal — to realize his dream of playing in the NFL.

In a few days, Griffin’s dream will become a reality. And the fifth-round pick will not only play, but he will start at linebacker, coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday.

Seattle opens the season against the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon. Griffin will start in Denver in place of veteran K.J. Wright, who is recovering from knee surgery. Twin brother Shaquill Griffin is slated to start at cornerback.

Seahawks defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said the rookie linebacker was a quick learner and ready for his first taste of the regular season. Griffin, who is the first one-handed player to be drafted in the NFL’s modern era, led the team with 24 tackles during the preseason.

“He’s been surrounded by some really good players, Bobby (Wagner) and K.J. and (Barkevious) Mingo, guys that have been in the league for a while,” Norton Jr. told reporters. “So he’s kind of taken a backseat and really learned at a rookie’s pace, and now that he’s been able to play a little bit in the preseason, he sees the game speeds up a little bit.

“But he’s been amazing. It’s been fun to coach him. It’s been fun to watch his growth. The questions that he’s asked over the days and weeks have been improving and getting better. It’s just amazing to watch his development. As coaches, watching young players develop, that’s what it’s all about. So watching him grow and develop and run and hit and do the things that we expected him to do when we drafted him, it’s really good to see.”

–Field Level Media

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