RENTON — Two of the team’s biggest name players — left tackle Duane Brown and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner — were not in pads this week when the Seahawks held their first practices with their regular-season 53-man roster.
Each was out for different reasons — Wagner is recovering after having a procedure on his knee; Brown continues his “hold in,’’ vying for a new, or at least changes, to his contract.
Coach Pete Carroll said after practice Wednesday that he expects each available for the regular season opener Sept. 12 at Indianapolis.
Carroll said Wagner’s procedure is the same one he has had for five years.
“He had a thing done that he does every year for a rehab thing so he has to wait it out,” Carroll said. “We gave him a week off to let it all work, and so he’ll be back and ready to go next week.”
Wagner took to Twitter to make an apparent allusion to the question of his knee, stating, “It’s really not that big of a deal.”
As for Brown, Carroll gave about as strong of a statement as he has all camp that he expects things to work out.
“I’m counting on him,” Carroll said. “I’m counting on him being ready.”
Carroll said Brown continues to all the regular work behind the scenes to prepare for the season.
“He’s been on everything,” Carroll said. “He’s been working out, been in all of the walk-through stuff, taken all of those reps, and has been an active part of all of the meetings.”
No comment yet on Jake Luton
The Seahawks were reported by the NFL Network to have agreed to sign former Oregon State and Marysville-Pilchuck quarterback Jake Luton to the 53-man roster. Luton was waived Tuesday by Jacksonville.
Luton appeared to confirm the news on social media. But Carroll said he could not yet confirm himself. Seattle also will have to remove someone from the roster to make room.
Still, the signing of Luton will give Seattle something it hasn’t had much of in recent years — three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.
Seattle had Sean Mannion on the 53 along with Russell Wilson and Geno Smith before releasing Mannion after making two waiver claims.
Smith has played in only one game in two years as Seattle has rarely needed a backup due to Wilson’s durability.
And Carroll indicated the reason to have two backups on the roster is not about Wilson but about letting the two backups compete, despite the fact that Smith appeared to have had a strong camp to hold on to the job.
“We just like the guys that we’ve had the chance to see,” Carroll said. “See if they fit in, see if they can hold their spot. They have to compete.”
The 6-6 Luton started three games last season for the Jags, completing 60 of 110 passes for 473 yards with two touchdowns and six interceptions. But the Jags now have Trevor Lawrence at QB and waived Luton. He also played at Idaho and Ventura (California) College.
Seahawks add a center in Dakoda Shepley
Along with claiming quarterback Nigel Warrior off waivers from the Ravens, Seattle also claimed center Dakoda Shepley from the 49ers. Seattle then waived guard Phil Haynes to make room for Shepley. Shepley becomes Seattle’s third listed center behind Kyle Fuller and Ethan Pocic, and Carroll made it sound as if he might be able to get right into the mix for the job.
“Really, really liked him at center,” Carroll said. “We were surprised he was available as we watched him.”
Shepley has played both guard and tackle and played guard for one season in the Canadian Football League in 2019 with Saskatchewan — he is a native of Windsor, Ontario, and played at the University of British Columbia.
Shepley was listed as playing guard and center for the 49ers this preseason by Pro Football Focus with 70 snaps at center and the other 26 at guard.
“Our guys did a really good preseason evaluation on him,” Carroll said. “As it came down to last night, he was really one of our favorite guys. Shoot, if he didn’t show up for us. We were very fortunate to get him.”
Carroll gives injury updates
— Carroll said safety Ryan Neal, who has been dealing with an oblique strain, is on track to return next week. “He’s really close to going right now,” Carrol said. “He’s running and everything. We’re just making sure we can use those couple days off that we have over the weekend, but he should be ready.”
— Carroll said it remains unclear when tight end Colby Parkinson will be able to return from his foot injury. Said Carroll: “He’s working really hard at it, he’s running on the field every day back-to-back. It’s a hard one to call for the trainers right now. We don’t know. We don’t know how it’s going to go. We have to react to what happens to him after the work. As we increase the workload on him we’ll know more but we’re kind of going along carefully so we don’t overdo it.” The team could put Parkinson on IR and bring him back in three weeks, replacing him with Tyler Mabry, who was signed to the practice squad Wednesday.
— Carroll said OL Cedric Ogbuehi also remains out with a bicep issue. “The same bicep that he had issues with is something he’s still trying to get back from, and he didn’t quite get there last week,” Carroll said. Ogbuehi could also be a candidate for IR.
Seahawks fill out practice squad
None of the 26 players the Seahawks waived Tuesday was claimed, so the Seahawks were able to re-sign as many as they wanted to the practice squad.
The Seahawks announced that 14 players were signed to the practice squad, all players who had been with the team in training camp. Seattle can have up to 17.
Here are the 14 announced:
DT Myles Adams
LB Aaron Donkor
G Greg Eiland
WR Aaron Fuller
WR Penny Hart
DT Jarrod Hewitt
WR Cade Johnson
RB Josh Johnson
G Pier-Olivier Lestage
TE Tyler Mabry
DT Robert Nkemdiche
CB John Reid
LB Jon Rhattigan
WR Cody Thompson
Changes to NFL rules have made the practice squad more important than ever in roster construction.
Specifically, teams can elevate two players from the practice squad each week to the active game day roster and can elevate another within 90 minutes of kickoff in the event of a late positive COVID-19 test result.