On Monday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he looked forward to seeing Shaquem Griffin play again against the Miami Dolphins this weekend after he helped preserve Seattle’s victory over Dallas.
That hinted at a move of some kind to get Griffin on the roster.
Tuesday, the Seahawks did indeed make a move, using a practice squad protection on Griffin and tight end Stephen Sullivan.
That means neither Griffin nor Sullivan can be signed to another team’s 53-player roster this week. Under new rules enacted this year, teams can protect four of their 16 practice-squad players each week.
Seattle last week elevated Griffin and safety Ryan Neal off the practice squad on Saturday and each played a key role in helping Seattle hang on in the victory Sunday — Griffin broke up a pass on the final drive and came close to getting to Dak Prescott a couple times on rushes, while Neal had the clinching interception.
Monday, both Neal and Griffin reverted to the practice squad.
Being protected means Seattle is assured it can elevate Griffin again for the game Sunday against Miami.
However, it means for now he is not on the 53-player roster.
Seattle now has two openings on the 53-player roster after waiving linebacker D’Andre Walker on Tuesday. Walker was claimed on waivers from Tennessee at the cut down to 53 and was playing in a rush end/strongside linebacker role. But he played only one snap in one game (on the final drive against Dallas).
Seattle already had one opening on the roster after putting Rasheem Green on injured reserve late last week.
Seattle also waived linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee off injured reserve.
How Seattle will fill those spots on the 53-player roster is unclear. The Seahawks could still sign Griffin to the 53 this week. However, Seattle might also have protected Griffin with the idea of elevating him for the Miami game and keeping some flexibility on the 53-player roster.
Players, though, can only be elevated off the practice squad and to the 53 and then back to the practice squad without going through waivers twice in a season.
That means if Seattle elevates Griffin again this weekend, it can no longer do that with him again this season. Instead, at that point, the standard rules would apply, meaning he’d have to be signed to the 53 and then go through waivers to get back to the practice squad. Players can be elevated off the practice squad in consecutive weeks, so that remains an open for Seattle. Players also can be protected an unlimited amount of times (Sullivan, a seventh-round choice, has been protected each of the past two weeks. Seattle did not use any protections the first two weeks).
Seattle might want the roster flexibility as it investigates signing a couple of veteran free agents.
Reports last week stated the Seahawks would get a visit this week from defensive tackle Damon “Snacks’’ Harrison.
However, that visit has not yet reportedly happened.
The NFL’s three-day testing protocol for free agents means the Seahawks would have to wait a few days after bringing in a player before officially signing him.
Seattle was reported on Tuesday to have given safety Damarious Randall a tryout.
Randall, a first-round choice of the Packers in 2015 out of Arizona State, was cut by the Raiders on Sept. 4 and has not been on a roster since.
Randall has 56 career starts with the Packers and Cleveland at all four secondary spots — right and left corner and free and strong safety — and as such could provide depth all over the back end for Seattle.
The Seahawks might be without Jamal Adams this week as he battles a groin injury and it’s also unclear if safety Lano Hill (back) and cornerback Quinton Dunbar (knee) will be available.
Seattle could also add Neal back to the roster for this week, either by signing him to the 53 or elevating him again.