Versatility is Josh Pinkard’s strong suit.
The 25-year-old safety bided his time on the practice squad last year in his first season in the NFL.
Now, after proving himself to the coaches in practice and game situations, the USC product gets his first career start on Saturday in Seattle’s third exhibition game, at Denver.
Pinkard will fill in for second-year pro Kam Chancellor at strong safety. Chancellor missed practice all week with a foot injury and will not play against the Broncos.
Pinkard suffered three different anterior cruciate ligament injuries at USC – two in his left knee and one in his right – but diligently rehabilitated and recovered from those setbacks to get back on the field
“For Josh, this is a great opportunity,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s worked very hard to get to here. It’s been a long haul for Josh, coming off the surgery, too. So we’ll wish him the best.”
Pinkard hopes to fill a role left vacant when Seattle did not re-sign veteran defensive back Jordan Babineaux – a versatile performer who played cornerback, safety and special teams.
Pinkard, who is being groomed to play a similar role, showed his playmaking ability against Minnesota last week. He saved a TD by tackling wide receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux from behind at the 5-yard line and punching the ball out of his hands and out of the end zone for a touchback.
Pinkard is part of a fierce battle for a roster spot at safety that includes veteran Atari Bigby, along with fifth-round draft pick Mark LeGree and undrafted free agent Jeron Johnson.
“It feels good just getting out there and getting a feel for it,” Pinkard said. “It’s always good to go out there and make plays because it builds your confidence, so it turned out really well for me.”