For the second time in two weeks the Seahawks took advantage of new NFL rules this season to add a player to their active roster, on Saturday elevating defensive tackle Anthony Rush from the practice squad.
New rules this year allow for Rush to come up to the roster for Sunday’s game against New England and then be returned to the practice squad on Monday without having to go through waivers. Teams can do that with a player twice in a season.
Last week, Seattle elevated offensive tackle Chad Wheeler to add depth in the wake of two players being out due to injury (Cedric Ogbuehi) and illness (Jamarco Jones). Wheeler was active for the game but did not play and returned to the practice squad on Monday.
The rule was among several put in place this year as part of the league’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement signed between the players and the league in March.
Rush adds to Seattle’s defensive line depth for a game against a Patriots team that last week rushed 42 times for 217 yards, both the most in the NFL.
The aptly-named Rush — listed at 6-5, 350 pounds — projects to likely play mostly in the base defense, or on likely running downs.
He played nine games last year for the Eagles as well as in the playoff loss to Seattle and had 150 snaps overall, according to Pro Football Focus, with 71 coming on running plays. (He graded higher against the run in PFF’s rankings, with a 66.8 rating compared to 57.1 on passing plays).
Rush, who played at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, was signed a year ago as an undrafted free agent by the Eagles, was waived and spent time in camp with the Raiders, was waived and then later re-signed by the Eagles. He was waived again by the Eagles this year in the cutdown to 53-man rosters two weeks ago and then signed by Seattle to its practice squad. This was his first full week of practice with the Seahawks.
Including the preseason, Rush played against the Seahawks three times last year, including 45 snaps combined in two games for the Eagles (regular season and the playoff game), so Seattle got a good look at him.
Rush’s elevation gives Seattle four defensive tackles for Sunday’s game, the others being Jarran Reed, Poona Ford and Bryan Mone.
Seattle has five ends — L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Benson Mayowa, Damontre Moore and Alton Robinson.
Green is listed as doubtful for the game with a neck/stinger injury which could mean Robinson — a rookie out of Syracuse — will be among the active players for Sunday’s game.
In another change this year, teams can have 48 players active on gameday as long as they have at least eight offensive linemen.
Seattle took advantage of that for the opener against Atlanta and likely will against the Patriots, with Rush almost certainly set to be among the 48 active players.