In the first of what figure to be a few moves for the Seahawks this week, the team on Tuesday placed receiver Phillip Dorsett II on injured reserve while promoting cornerback Linden Stephens from the practice squad.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had foreshadowed the Dorsett move Monday, when he said Dorsett already was ruled out for the Dallas game this Sunday and that Seattle would consider its options to get Dorsett healthy.
“We need to give him a break to make sure that his foot is healed and back,” Carroll said.
New rules this year mean Dorsett has to miss only three games before he can return. Seattle has a bye after Week 5 this year, so Dorsett can have time to heal from now until an Oct. 25 game at Arizona before attempting to play again.
Dorsett signed a one-year deal in March with the hope he could be the team’s third receiver but has been waylaid by the sore foot since midway through training camp. Seattle kept him on the active roster the past two weeks hoping he could practice some during the week and then play. But he wasn’t able to get healthy enough either week to be active on game day.
Carroll has said previously the team did not know of any injury to Dorsett when he was signed to a deal worth up to $1.04 million in March.
David Moore and Freddie Swain’s recent play makes the decision to put Dorsett on IR easier. Moore has emerged as the third receiver and has six receptions for 76 yards in the first two games — with three receptions in each game — while Swain, a rookie, has catches in each of the first two games including a touchdown against the Patriots.
Stephens, who was on the practice squad much of last season, played briefly for Miami, then re-signed with Seattle after the season, making the initial 53-player roster before Seattle waived him the next day. He then re-signed to the Seahawks’ practice squad.
Stephens helps fill out the depth in the secondary following the loss for the season of nickel corner and safety Marquise Blair to a knee injury. Carroll said Monday to expect Ugo Amadi to remain as the nickel corner, but Seattle could explore other options, such as using Tre Flowers outside and Quinton Dunbar at the nickel, as well.
Stephens can play both the nickel and outside corner spots.
Both Blair and linebacker Bruce Irvin — each out for the season after suffering ACL injuries — are expected to go on IR this week, opening up two more roster spots.
One spot could go to offensive lineman Kyle Fuller, who was reinstated off a two-game suspension Monday. For now, he remains on an exempt list and does not count against the roster limit but will have to before he can play in a game.
Carroll apologizes for not wearing mask
Carroll issued an apology through the team’s website, Seahawks.com, for being fined for not adhering to the league’s protocols for mask wearing during games.
Carroll was one of three coaches fined $100,000 by the NFL on Monday — San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan and Denver’s Vic Fangio were the others. Each team was also fined $250,000. Two others were fined Tuesday — Jon Gruden of the Raiders and Sean Payton of the Saints — for non-compliance during a game Monday night.
“I had a coach who was reminding me about it throughout the game, (running backs coach) Chad Morton was on my ass the whole night. He was reminding me the whole time,” Carroll said. “I even changed masks at halftime to find one that worked better. Sometimes you’ve got to get coached up. Sometimes you have to admit that that you screwed up and have got to do better.”
NFL players are being tested daily for COVID-19 and the Seahawks have not yet had a positive test.
“We wear masks all day at practice, we wear them around the building,” Carroll said. “I know it’s extremely important to wear masks. Sometimes you’ve just got to be reminded. Sometimes you’ve got to get coached up.”
Quandre Diggs reaches out to N’Keal Harry
Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs took to Twitter on Tuesday to comment on his penalty for a helmet-to-helmet hit Sunday against New England’s N’Keal Harry that resulted in his ejection.
“Never my intention to hurt anybody.. Respect” then tagging Harry and including a link to a story of Harry commenting on the incident to media Tuesday.
Harry told reporters Tuesday that Diggs had already contacted him personally.
“He reached out and he made it clear that he was not trying to hurt me and it was not intentional,” Harry said. “When it happened, I didn’t think it was intentional either. I know that when you’re out on the field, stuff happens super, super quickly. So I never felt like it was intentional. I think it was just one of those football plays. So I had already kind of figured that he wasn’t trying to do that. Him reaching out definitely meant a lot in the same regard.”
Seahawks use new rule to protect Stephen Sullivan
The Seahawks on Tuesday also took advantage of another new rule this year put in place for COVID-19, protecting practice squad tight end/receiver Stephen Sullivan, the team’s seventh-round choice in the 2020 draft.
That means Sullivan cannot be signed this week to another team’s 53-player roster (practice-squad players cannot be signed directly to another team’s practice squad but can be signed to another team’s 53-player roster at any time if not protected).
Teams can protect up to four players each week but can only protect each player four times in a season. Seattle had not protected any player the first two weeks.
Sullivan likely was protected in case he might be needed later in the week to help add depth to the overall receiving corps.