RENTON — Seahawks defensive back Marquise Blair is out for the season after suffering a fractured right patella (kneecap) in Monday night’s 13-10 loss to the Saints.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday that Blair will have surgery this week and will not be able to return. Blair, a third-year player out of Utah taken with the 47th overall pick, was injured on a play that snapped with 4:03 left in the game.
It is the second straight season Blair has suffered a season-ending knee injury. Last year he had an ACL tear in the same knee during the second game, which was against the Patriots. Blair also tore the ACL in his left knee while at Utah in 2017.
Blair had been seeing regular time at the nickel spot, rotating with Ugo Amadi. With Blair out, Amadi will now become the full-time nickel. Blair won the nickel spot heading into the 2020 season, but Amadi took over when Blair was injured and essentially held the starting role this year with Blair seeing regular action — Amadi has 196 snaps this year to Blair’s 119.
“He’s done a really nice job,” Carroll said of Amadi, a third-year player out of Oregon. “Like I said to you all along, there was never a case that he was losing his job. We just thought Marquise needed to play and deserves play time, also.”
Blair will undoubtedly go on the injured reserve at some point this week, which will open a spot on the 53-man roster. That spot could be used for quarterback Jake Luton, who is on the practice squad but would have to go on the 53 this week to be active for Sunday’s game against Jacksonville.
If Seattle needs additional cornerback depth, it could turn to two players on the practice squad: Gavin Heslop and Michael Jackson. Heslop, who also spent last season on the practice squad, saw significant time at nickel corner during preseason.
Eskridge due back this week
Carroll said rookie receiver Dee Eskridge was scheduled to arrive back in Seattle Wednesday night after having been in Florida to see specialists to deal with a lingering concussion suffered in the season opener Sept. 12 at Indianapolis.
Carroll said Eskridge was working on “some visual things’’ related to his concussion. Eskridge can come off IR this week and practice for 21 days before the team would then have to make a decision whether to leave him on IR or activate him.
“If he’s cleared (Thursday), then we’ll start to get some work from him,” Carroll said.
When asked whether there was any concern that Eskridge’s concussion could turn into a long-term issue, Carroll said, “No, not at this point.”
Eskridge was taken 56th in the draft last spring and was in line to be the third receiver this season before being injured in the fourth quarter of the opener.
Jones, Brown could split time at left cornerback
Sidney Jones got his fourth straight start at left cornerback Monday night. But it was rookie Tre Brown who got the bulk of the playing time, rotating in with Jones and playing 50 snaps. Jones played 23.
So who will get the start Sunday against Jacksonville?
Carroll wouldn’t say but indicated that both will continue to play.
“I think Tre continues to show that he’s really comfortable and I just can’t get him in many situations that he isn’t in command of, so I’m really fired up about his play,” Carroll said of Brown, a fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma who made his NFL debut last week against the Steelers. “Sidney had a couple nice plays in the game and a nice break up on third down and all that, and so I’m happy with those guys, the way they’re playing.”
Carroll has often said he’d prefer not to rotate at cornerback — the Seahawks never really had to during the Legion of Boom days when there were unquestioned starters on each side, in particular Richard Sherman on the pivotal left side from 2011-17.
But Carroll said he’s leaving options open, joking, “I’m getting over it,” when asked about his long-held stance of preferring not to rotate.
“There is some comfort,” in playing just one player at each corner spot, Carroll said, before adding with a smile, “See, I can get better, too.”
According to Pro Football Focus, Jones allowed one reception on four targets for 15 yards Monday while Brown allowed three catches on four targets for 28 yards.
D.J. Reed continues to take all the snaps on the right side.
No update on Russell Wilson
Carroll said he had no update to provide on the recovery of quarterback Russell Wilson, who remains on IR after having surgery Oct. 8 to repair a ruptured tendon and dislocation in his right middle finger.
Wilson has to miss the Jacksonville game by rule but could return to practice anytime after this week. Seattle has a bye next week and then plays Nov. 14 at Green Bay, and some reports have stated that is Wilson’s target date to return.
An NFL Network report Saturday said Wilson will have surgery this week to remove a pin from the finger.
When Carroll was asked about that report Wednesday and whether he had any update, he said simply, “No, sorry.”
Wilson was at Seattle’s practice Wednesday. As he has done since going on IR, he was working by himself away from the rest of the team. Wilson cannot practice with the team while on IR.
- Carroll said he expects both defensive end Darrell Taylor (neck) and guard Damien Lewis (shoulder) to return for Sunday’s game. Both were listed as full participants in practice Wednesday.
- Seattle made one roster move Wednesday, releasing quarterback Danny Etling off the practice squad and replacing his spot by re-signing center Brad Lundblade. Lundblade was with the team throughout training camp.
- Right tackle Brandon Shell (ankle) and Blair were each listed as not participating in practice Wednesday (Blair will be listed on the report until put on IR). Seattle also listed OLs Gabe Jackson and Duane Brown and DE Carlos Dunlap sitting out as resting vets. RB Alex Collins (groin) was limited. Everyone else was a full participant.