It's a cruel reality of football that one man's misfortune is another man's opportunity.

So it is for Seahawks tight end Sean McGrath, who is now just one of two players at that position for Seattle who have played in an NFL regular-season game after Anthony McCoy went down last week with an Achilles injury.

McCoy, who projected to again back up and complement starter Zach Miller, is likely out for the season.

That leaves McGrath battling with fifth-round draft pick Luke Willson for the role as second tight end.

"All of the tight ends feel horrible about what happened to Anthony," McGrath said this week. "It's kind of the nature of the game. But we are keeping him in our thoughts and hoping for a fast recovery.

"It doesn't really change my role as far as coming in. I might get a few more reps but I am always trying to push the person in front of me and making plays and blocking and doing whatever they tell me to."

McGrath did that well enough last season to go from undrafted free agent out of Henderson State in Arkansas to earning a spot on the active roster for the last two regular-season games, getting on the field for eight snaps in wins over the 49ers and Rams.

"That first time running out that tunnel, it is exhilarating," he said. "There is no other feeling that has yet to top it."

It also fulfilled a dream. As a third grader in Chicago, when he was asked as part of a school project what he wanted to be when he grew up, McGrath wrote artist. The following year, he said he wanted to play in the NFL.

He's ended up fulfilling both goals, having earned a degree in studio art with an emphasis in sculpture. Since he has been in Seattle, he has also taken a few figure-drawing courses.

"I'm trying to get a little bit of the culture out here," he said.

Mostly, though, he's trying to carve out a role with the Seahawks.