The Seahawks on Friday downgraded running back Rashaad Penny to questionable for Saturday’s wild-card playoff against the Rams because of a knee injury, and they elevated Alex Collins from the practice squad.

Penny has played in the past three games since returning from an ACL injury suffered Dec. 8, 2019. He left late in Sunday’s win over the 49ers after suffering cramps.

Penny was listed as limited in practice Thursday because of a knee issue but had not been added to the game-status report. That seemed to indicate he might be getting a rest day.

Whether this is related to the 2019 injury is unclear.

Seattle has three other running backs all listed as full go for Saturday’s game — starter Chris Carson and reserves Carlos Hyde and rookie DeeJay Dallas.

Penny, the Seahawks’ first-round draft pick in 2018, played 28 snaps against the 49ers and had 19 yards on six carries in filling the No. 2 role with Hyde out because of an illness. It was Penny’s most significant action since his injury. He played a combined 10 snaps in his first two games.

Coach Pete Carroll said Penny had suffered “a classic” case of cramps Sunday from taking on a larger role after not playing much.


Once Penny departed against the 49ers, Collins took over that role. He had 29 yards on five carries, including a late touchdown in a 26-23 win.

Collins was elevated off the practice squad three times this season and finished with 77 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns.

Teams can elevate two players off the practice squad each week during the regular season, but during the playoffs there is no limit to how often each player can be elevated.

The elevation of Collins gives Seattle a game-day roster of 54. Seattle will have to then make at least six players inactive before the 1:40 p.m. kickoff to get to the limit of 48 who can suit up.

Collins was a fifth-round pick of the Seahawks in 2016. He was waived before the 2017 season and spent two seasons with the Ravens before being out of the league last year.

Collins made one start this year, in a 23-16 loss to the Rams in Los Angeles on Nov. 15, and had 43 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.

Seahawks-Rams wild-card game preview
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and teammates line up in the tunnel to take on the Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field on October 11. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)