Josh Jones. Michael Jackson. Myles Adams. Vi Jones.
Four of the Seahawks’ biggest training camp surprises are those earning spots on The News Tribune’s 53-man Seattle roster due from the NFL by Tuesday.
Each team has until 1 p.m. Tuesday to reduce its roster from 80 to 53.
It’s just the initial roster for the regular season. The Seahawks and all other rosters would change several times thereafter, until Seattle’s opener on Sept. 12 against Russell Wilson’s Denver Broncos at Lumen Field.
The first changes will come with the Wednesday afternoon waiver deadline. By then, teams will be able to claim the hundreds of players dropped across the league during Tuesday’s roster cuts.
Inside linebacker is perhaps Seattle’s thinnest position. The team will look to add there, as well as other positions such as possibly offensive and defensive lines, through waivers by Wednesday.
We project cornerback Tre Brown, a starter as a rookie in 2021 until knee surgery in November, to join special teams linebacker Jon Rhattigan on the list of physically unable to perform to start the season. Only players on the PUP roster to start training camp are eligible to start the season there and be exempt from the roster. Players on the PUP list must miss at least the first four games.
Rhattigan, an undrafted free agent from West Point’s Army last year, is already on PUP following his major knee surgery last winter.
Under NFL rules, players placed on injured reserve at or before a team sets its initial roster of 53 players must miss the entire season.
For injured players that a team thinks they can return to during the season, they are brought to the initial roster of 53 players and then moved to injured reserve. Players in IR after the initial roster of 53 players is established can return after missing at least four games.
Defensive lineman Alton Robinson, who injured his knee in Seattle’s preseason finale on Friday night in Dallas, could be a candidate for IR after making the first 53 – depending on the severity of the the injury Carroll was unaware of immediately after the game.
The practice squad can consist of up to 16 players. The Seahawks will set their first after the cuts and the end of the first regular season waiver period on Wednesday.
TNT’s Seahawks 53-player roster
Beginners in bold.
Quarters (2): Geno SmithDrew Lock.
Smith won the job after Lock’s turnovers spooked coach Pete Carroll, who wants his QB to be risk averse. The Seahawks will look to move Jacob Eason through unclaimed waivers and onto the practice squad. If another team claims Eason, they will claim a third quarterback for the practice squad.
Half-off (5): Rashaad PennyKen Walker, Travis Homer, Dee Jay Dallas, Josh Johnson.
Carroll says he really likes this band.
Penny regains the lead after Chris Carson’s neck problem forced the 27-year-old killer into retirement. In his four-year career, Penny has yet to prove he can stay healthy for months in a row. This makes depth essential to this most appealing position in the sport.
Carroll made it look like Walker was coming back from his hernia procedure by the opener. The rookie second-round pick has impressed in training camp. He and Penny, preserved all August and now coming back from having COVID-19 last week, should be the 1/1A tandem to run on first downs and shorts. If Walker misses more time, the bloated Homer will share that role with Penny, with Dallas returning in his third roles. Johnson for special teams.
Wide receivers (6): DK Metcalf, Tyler LockettMarquise Goodwin, Dee Eskridge, Dareke Young, Penny Hart.
Goodwin, 31, still has speed and showed a savvy veteran to be the third receiver. Eskridge needs to prove he can stay on the pitch. He can return punts. So Freddie Swain gets fired. Swain has been mediocre throughout the preseason, giving up numerous assists. Sixth-round rookie pick Bo Melton also dropped too many. They should be able to get Melton through practice squad waivers. Young is bigger and faster, traits that are difficult to obtain through waivers.
JJ Arcega-Whiteside, acquired this month from Philadelphia in a trade as defensive back Ugo Amadi, has only gained scrimmage practice work since joining.
Tight ends (3): Noah Fant, Will Dissly, Colby Parkinson.
Fant sometimes struggled to catch passes in camp. The 6-foot-7 Parkinson has improved a lot going into his third season and will be a new third-down and red-zone target as offensive coordinator Shane Waldron employs a lot more tight two- and three-end formations.
Tyler Mabry would be the fourth tight end, but his injury in practice last week sends him to injured reserve.
Offensive line (9): Charles Cross, Damien Lewis, Austin Blythe, Gabe Jackson, Abe LucasPhil Haynes, Jake Curhan, Kyle Fuller, Stone Forsythe.
Lewis’ sprained ankle could sideline him for Game 1 and make Haynes the starting left guard to start the season. While Lewis’ sprain is likely to sideline him until September, he’s an IR candidate once the initial roster is established. The quick and athletic Lucas has been fantastic at running and blocking passes throughout pre-season. Washington State and Everett’s third-round pick had five “pancake” blocks flattening haters in three preseason games. He joins Cross as a rookie starting tackle to start the season, a rarity in the NFL.
Curhan and Fuller can play in multiple positions, which is good for game depth.
Defensive line (7): Poona Ford, Al Woods, Shelby HarrisBryan Mone, Myles Adams, Quinton Jefferson, Alton Robinson.
Seems to be too few to keep, but Seattle is heading more toward a 3-4 defense with just three D linemen. Ford and Harris, acquired from Denver in the Wilson trade, flanked Woods as tackle/ends more outside than in previous seasons. Ford can also join Mone at nose tackle to shoot with Woods, 35. Adams showed new quickness and drew praise from coaches this month.
Robinson’s injury could open up another spot here. The team will look for more veterans off waivers for the defensive line.
Linebackers (7): Jordyn Brooks, Darrell Taylor, Uchenna Nwosu, Cody BartonBoye Mafe, Nick Bellore, Vi Jones.
This new scheme that features speed on the edge is designed for increasingly quick and swaggy Brooks, Taylor and Nwosu, signed during the Chargers’ 3-4 system offseason. Barton has often played recklessly this pre-season. He has one NFL career start in three seasons.
Mafe was an impressive passer early in camp, then the second-round pick went down with an injury. Bellore is a pillar of the special team. Jones joined the team in August. He beats Tacoma’s Muse and Lakiem Williams, a practice squad contender. They will be looking for more off waiver linebackers.
Fifth-round rookie pick Tyreke Smith has been injured most of the preseason. He’s a candidate to go to injured reserve.
Cornerback (6): Sidney Jones, Tariq WoolenArtie Burns, Justin Coleman, Coby Bryant, Michael Jackson.
Jones, starting last season, suffered a concussion for much of August. He is trying to get back to training this week. If still affected, Burns is ready to start against the impressive Woolen. The “Avatar,” as his coaches and teammates call the former rookie wide receiver, is 6-4 and ran a 4.26 rush for 40 yards. He stuck with Metcalf, Lockett, Goodwin and everyone else in training camp and preseason games.
Coleman is back to be the fifth, nickel DB. He re-signed after a few years of absence. Rookie Bryant challenges him to be the lead cornerback.
Jackson earned a roster spot and special teams roles due to his tackle this month.
Safeties (5): Quandre Diggs, Jamal AdamsJosh Jones, Marquise Blair, Ryan Neal.
Jones doesn’t just make the roster, he can be a regular. Seattle practices a lot of three-way looks of safety in training camp. This frees up Adams to play closer to the line of scrimmage as a passing thrower while still having two deep-covered safeties, Jones with Pro Bowler Diggs.
Jones feels reborn after having his thyroid removed last year.
Blair struggled on preseason tackles, which is why the Seahawks drafted him in the second round in 2019. Neal has been injured since early August but told Carroll he was playing in Game 1. He was a sixth DB and a safety guard last season.
Specialists (3): Michael Dickson, Jason Myers, Tyler Ott.
Dickson is perhaps the best player on the team at what he does – which is unreturnable punts that he then seems to control all the way to the goal line.