With injuries hitting the receiver spot in recent days and a still-unsettled situation at center, the Seahawks could look to reunite with two of their 2014 draft picks to add depth, if not competition for playing time — receiver Paul Richardson and center Justin Britt.
The NFL officially reported on its transactions wire Wednesday that the Seahawks have had each in for tryouts.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Wednesday that Richardson has been at the Seahawks facility and is undergoing the league’s COVID-19 testing protocol, a five-day procedure necessary before he’s allowed to practice.
Garafolo reported that Richardson “could sign later this week.”
Richardson was the team’s top pick in the 2014 draft and played four years for Seattle before moving on to Washington as a free agent.
Washington cut Richardson in February, and he’s been unsigned since.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, cut Britt in April, negating the final year of his contract and clearing $8.5 million in salary cap space.
Britt, Seattle’s second pick in the 2014 draft, missed the second half of the 2019 season after suffering an ACL injury in a game at Atlanta, and given that such an injury usually takes nine to 10 months to recover from, his status was uncertain for the start of the 2020 season.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll confirmed the team’s interest in each player when he spoke to media following a mock game Wednesday at CenturyLink Field. He said the team wanted to check out the health of each player. Richardson went on injured reserve late last season with a hamstring issue.
“Both guys ended the season with injuries so we need to see what those guys look like,” Carroll said. “Obviously we know a lot about both of them and we think highly of both of them, so we’ll see how that goes.”
Carroll said he didn’t know yet if Britt has been cleared to play.
Richardson was the 45th overall pick in the 2014 draft and played in 47 games over four seasons for the Seahawks.
His best year was his last in Seattle in 2017 when he had 44 receptions for 703 yards.
He signed with Washington after that season getting a five-year deal worth up to $40 million with $20 million guaranteed.
But injuries limited him to just 17 games in two years with Washington with 48 receptions for 507 yards and four touchdowns before he was cut in a cost-cutting move after the season.
Seattle played its mock game Wednesday without three injured receivers — Phillip Dorsett, who has been out the last three days with a sore foot; John Ursua, who tweaked a hamstring in practice Tuesday; and Cody Thompson, who has been out for a week or so with an undisclosed injury.
That had Seattle playing with just seven receivers available Wednesday.
Carroll said Ursua shouldn’t be out long but was more vague about Dorsett, who signed a one-year deal in the spring with the hope that he can take over the number three receiver role.
Carroll said Dorsett was feeling better Wednesday after having sat out since Saturday’s mock game. But Carroll also said somewhat ominously that Dorsett’s foot has bothered him for a while.
“It might be the kind of situation we’ve got to monitor and see what it takes to keep him feeling good because he has had it for a while,” Carroll said.
There remains speculation the Seahawks will be interested in bringing back Josh Gordon should he be reinstated by the NFL after being given an indefinite suspension last December for violating the league’s policies on both substance abuse and performance-enhancing drugs. Gordon has applied for reinstatement but no decision has yet been made by the league and it’s unclear when it will happen.
Britt was Seattle’s starting center the last four years before being injured against Atlanta and then released.
Seattle has been going with Ethan Pocic as the No. 1 center ahead of free agent signee B.J. Finney, who many had expected would get the job heading into camp after signing a two-year contract worth up to $8 million that included $4.5 million guaranteed.
Finney has instead been relegated to working with the second offense most of camp, and has spent some time at guard in recent days, a position where the Seahawks seem pretty deep.
Carroll, though, resisted the idea the team is disappointed in Finney saying “he’s done really well.”
But he said for now the team is going with Pocic, in his fourth year with Seattle, because of his better knowledge of the system.
“He’s learning,” Carroll said of Finney. “It’s just catching up.”
Carroll said he didn’t want to force Finney “with the first group as he’s learning because I want good continuity with the guards and the whole group and with Russ (Russell Wilson). So it’s a little bit more in Ethan’s favor in that regard.”
Carroll said he has yet to decide on a starting center, though the other four spots seem set with Duane Brown at left tackle, Mike Iupati at left guard, rookie Damien Lewis at right guard and Brandon Shell at right tackle, though Shell suffered an ankle injury in pregame warmups and was replaced for most of the mock game by Cedric Ogbuehi. Carroll said he did not know if the injury might be significant, saying “we’ve got to figure out what it is.”
Britt also started seasons at right tackle and guard during his Seattle career, and the Seahawks could view him as available to help all over the line.
But not only is the starting center spot still up for grabs but the Seahawks also learned over the weekend that Kyle Fuller — the only other center on the roster — will be suspended for the first two games of the regular season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Adams slices finger while cutting strawberries
It seemed sort of ominous when safety Jamal Adams showed up to Tuesday’s practice wearing a large wrap on his left hand, even if he didn’t appear to miss a snap, turning in several highlight plays.
And Wednesday, Carroll revealed the mystery behind the wrap — that Adams had cut a finger while trying to dice up some strawberries earlier in the week.
“He had to have a few stitches so we held him out,” Carroll said. “It’s a very minor situation.”
Then Carroll said with a little laugh: “Easy for me to say. He almost cut his finger off. But anyway, he’ll be fine.”
After taking part in pre-game drills Wednesday, Adams sat out the mock game.
As Carroll noted, Marquise Blair helped fill in for Adams at safety and ended up as the defensive star of the day, picking off two passes from rookie quarterback Anthony Gordon of Washington State.
“He’ll be fine,” Carroll said of Blair. “But it did give Marquise a chance to play today and he did a nice job, obviously two huge plays turning the ball over.”
Carson returns, should practice on Friday
The Seahawks will take Thursday off before returning to practice Friday. When they do, running back Chris Carson will be back on the field, Carroll said. And this time maybe for good.
Carson has missed the bulk of the first two weeks of training camp while twice traveling to his native Atlanta area to deal with some family tragedies and attend funerals.
Carson was in pads Wednesday and took part in pregame warmups but was held out of the mock game with Carlos Hyde, Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas getting all the work at tailback.
Carson will give Seattle a fourth healthy tailback with undrafted free agent Patrick Carr out with an undisclosed issue.
“Chris will be working when we come back,” Carroll said.