The Seahawks made two moves Saturday to add depth to their injury-ravaged defense in time for Sunday’s game against Dallas, promoting linebacker Shaquem Griffin and cornerback Ryan Neal from the practice squad.
Each player can then be returned to the practice squad on Monday without going through waivers, a rule first put in place this season as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Intriguingly, Seattle did not fill the open spot on its 53-man roster created Friday when the team put defensive end Rasheem Green on Injured Reserve, leaving the team an open roster spot it can fill next week. Seattle is reported to be getting a visit next week from veteran defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison, so that possibly could be in the team’s thoughts for leaving the spot open.
The elevations of Griffin and Neal means Seattle will have 54 players for the game against Dallas, 48 of whom can be active for the game itself, as long as at least eight are offensive linemen.
Griffin adds depth at the strongside linebacker spot, where the Seahawks will be without Bruce Irvin for the rest of the season after he suffered an ACL injury last Sunday against the Patriots.
Griffin was waived in the cutdown to 53 players on Sept. 5 and after clearing waivers, re-signed to the practice squad.
Griffin played 96 snaps last season, seeing increasing time at the end of the season in pass rush packages. He had his first career sack against Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay in the divisional playoff loss to the Packers and the Seahawks might also try to use him in pass-rush packages against the Cowboys.
Neal gives Seattle another corner, with the Seahawks listing both Quinton Dunbar (knee) and Neiko Thorpe (groin) as questionable. Coach Pete Carroll indicated Friday that Dunbar will be able to play. He seemed more pessimistic about Thorpe, who is the special teams captain. The team may have Neal in mind to fill Thorpe’s special teams snaps.
Neal played 64 special teams snaps for Seattle in five games last season, including both playoff games.
The Seahawks have taken advantage of the new rule all three weeks this season to elevate a player from the practice squad, doing so with offensive tackle Chad Wheeler in week one and defensive tackle Anthony Rush in week two. Rush was then promoted to the 53-man roster this week.
Quandre Diggs, Bruce Irvin fined for hits against Patriots
Irvin and safety Quandre Diggs were each fined for hits on New England players in last Sunday’s game, NFL Media reported Saturday.
Irvin was fined $20,000 for roughing Cam Newton on a play in which there was no penalty, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.
Diggs was fined $15,000 for the helmet-to-helmet hit on New England receiver N’Keal Harry that earned him an ejection from the game.
Diggs was not further penalized by the league.
Coach Pete Carroll said on his radio show Monday that he thought the call on Diggs was the right one.