Scarbrough said he turned down a chance to stay in Jacksonville on that team's active roster to uproot to Seattle, a team he thinks is a better fit. The Seahawks wanted him for depth after seeing what happened Sunday in San Francisco.
Bo Scarbrough has already shown he can run over Washington, keying Alabama’s 24-7 win against the Huskies in the 2016 Peach Bowl with 180 yards and two touchdowns, one a back-breaking 68-yarder
Now to see if he can run IN Washington.
Not that the two things are necessarily related.
But Scarbrough this week became the latest Seahawk, signed off Jacksonville’s practice squad to Seattle’s 53-man active roster.
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And to coach Pete Carroll, it was a signing that he thought said something about what has been one of the biggest stories of Seattle’s season — its renewed commitment to running.
The 6-1, 235-pound Scarbrough is being added as depth with rookie first-round pick Rashaad Penny again uncertain this week with a knee injury that held him out against the 49ers last Sunday — the first game he had missed all season.
But to Carroll, another concern was seeing both Chris Carson and Mike Davis briefly leave the loss to the 49ers with injuries, creating a potentially thin running back corps (C.J. Prosise is already on season-ending Injured Reserve while J.D. McKissic has played just six snaps in three games since his return from IR.)
“We’re serious about running the football and this guy is a guy that gives us an attack mentality and a physical aspect of it in the event that maybe we are coming up short here,’’ Carroll said. “I think we realized it during the game last week when a couple guys got banged a couple of times and then all of a sudden, you’re down to your last running back. Those guys (Carson and Davis) were fine and all that, but it just reminded us of the sense of urgency. We’re hoping Rashaad is back and we will see what happens.”
Penny sat out practice again on Wednesday, though, Carroll said the hope is he can maybe get on the field Thursday.
“He’s going to try and do some stuff (Thursday),’’ Carroll said. “It’s uncertain, though, if he can get back — we don’t know yet. He’s really determined to try to make it back so that Friday is the day he can go for it – show that he can run and get going. He’s been really diligent about his rehab, so we’ll see what happens.”
But if Penny can’t make it, then expect Scarbrough to make his NFL debut.
Scarbrough has been on the Jags’ practice squad much of the year but has not played in an NFL game.
Scarbrough was taken by Dallas in the seventh round of the 2018 draft. Released by the Cowboys at the cutdown to 53 he was then re-signed to Dallas’ practice squad, then released in October and signed with the Jaguars.
It hasn’t been exactly the debut to the NFL that he expected when he decided to declare early for the draft following last season. His performance against the Huskies turned out to be a career-high in 31 games he played at Alabama, rushing for 1,512 yards, 5.7 per carry, and 20 touchdowns.
But Carroll said Scarbrough’s film stood out more than his stats.
“He’s a hammer,’’ Carroll said. “He runs big and strong, a slasher, real physical guy. He’s a big kid and he handles the ball well, catches the ball well. He was a big-time player at Alabama. They had so many backs that nobody got featured, but he was legit.”
Scarbrough called being on three rosters in the last four months “a learning experience,’’ saying one of the biggest lessons he’s learned is making the best decisions for himself and not worrying what anyone else might think.
That philosophy played a role in his decision to sign with the Seahawks.
Scarbrough said the Jaguars also offered this week to promote him to the active roster, likely in part to avoid losing him.
But Scarbrough picked the Seahawks, saying “I thought that Seattle was a better fit for me, a better place for me, and I took the opportunities and I want to take advantage of it and thank God and Seattle for giving me the chance.’’
Scarbrough said he had a formal meeting with the Seahawks at the NFL Combine last winter — a relationship that helped lead to a comfort level between the two sides and the thought he could make a quick assimilation with just two regular season games left — and it also likely played a factor that Seattle has a chance at the playoffs.
But Scarbrough says he also just likes the way Seattle plays.
“Sometimes you’ve got to look at the offensive linemen and the way they run the ball,’’ he said. “Seattle, they pound the ball and you’ve got to know what type of runner you are. And that’s the type of runner I am and for them to call me was a blessing in disguise.’’
And for Seattle, also something of a security blanket.