RENTON — Can Jarran Reed save Seattle’s pass rush?
His return should help greatly, coach Pete Carroll said Monday, but Carroll insisted things aren’t quite as bad with the pass rush as the stats indicated Sunday.
Reed recorded 10½ sacks for Seattle last season from his defensive tackle position but was forced to sit out the first six games of this season after being suspended by the NFL for his involvement in a domestic violence incident in 2017 (Reed was not charged by Bellevue Police).
Reed had half a sack more in 2018 than Seattle has as a team (10) in 2019, after the Seahawks not only didn’t record a sack Sunday but also didn’t record a quarterback hit (Seattle is 26th in the NFL in sacks and QB knockdowns).
Carroll said those numbers are hard to ignore.
“It stands out a little bit that we didn’t get to him (Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield),’’ Carroll said.
But Carroll also noted Mayfield had just a 54.9 passer rating, due in large part to throwing three interceptions, which keyed Seattle’s 32-28 victory.
“We’ll take that regardless of how the rush was,” Carroll said.
He also pointed to Mayfield often getting rid of the ball quickly and Cleveland’s use of run-pass option plays he says make it difficult to commit to rushing the passer. Carroll said the Seahawks went with a defensive line more geared to stopping the run, one reason Ziggy Ansah played just 27 snaps after playing 46 and 39 the previous two weeks.
Still, Carroll concedes Seattle’s rush has to get more effective and he said adding Reed will help.
Seattle has been starting Al Woods at the three-technique tackle spot with Reed out. But Carroll said Woods is admittedly more of a run defender and more of a true nose tackle. Woods will remain in the rotations up front, but Reed will slide back into the three-technique spot, particularly on passing downs.
“He’s a big factor,” Carroll said of Reed.
Carroll said opposing teams will have to pay attention to Reed and “hopefully that will open up things for everybody.”
Reed returned to the Seahawks facility Monday and will practice for the first time Wednesday.
Carroll said Reed stayed in good shape and the plan is to play him Sunday against Baltimore, but “I don’t know how much.’’
Carroll said Reed felt like “a kid at Christmas time’’ to be back.
“It seemed like it went kind of fast to us,’’ Carroll said. “It didn’t for him.’’
Brown could miss another game; Fluker day-to-day
Carroll said left tackle Duane Brown could miss the game Sunday against the Ravens with a biceps injury that also held him out against the Browns, which snapped a string of 30 consecutive starts since he was acquired by Seattle at midseason in 2017.
“We thought it might be two weeks if it didn’t go quicker than that,’’ Carroll said. “So we’ll see. If he doesn’t make it this week he should be in great shape to make it back next week.’’
George Fant would again start if Brown is out.
Right guard D.J. Fluker also sat Sunday with a hamstring injury. Carroll said he is “day to day.’’ Jamarco Jones started in his place and would start again if necessary. Carroll said Jones, who also played all but two series against the Rams, played well and that “that’s two really great showings for him.’’
Seattle could get reinforcement soon, with rookie guard Phil Haynes now able to return to practice after being on the physically unable to perform list. He can practice for three weeks before the team has to decide to put him on the roster or on injured reserve.
Rashaad Penny should be back this week
Running back Rashaad Penny, the Seahawks’ first-round draft choice in 2018, sat out Sunday with a hamstring injury and has missed three of the past four games.
Penny also sat two of the final three regular-season games of last season, meaning he has missed five of the team’s past nine regular-season games.
Carroll said Penny should practice fully Wednesday with an eye on returning against the Ravens.
C.J. Prosise worked in a backup role behind Chris Carson with Penny out, but the Seahawks mostly just relied on Carson, who played 66 of 83 snaps and had 24 carries for a career-high 124 yards. Prosise had 8 yards on three carries and also lost a fumble.
Seahawks to send in opening kickoff for review
One reason Carroll wasn’t too concerned about Cleveland’s opening kickoff — which went for 74 yards — is that he felt there should have been a penalty for blocking Travis Homer in the back. Homer appeared in position to make the tackle at about the 15-yard line.
Carroll said the Seahawks will turn the play into the NFL this week to get the league’s judgment.
“We will turn it in to find out what they are calling,’’ he said. “I talked to the official. He said he saw it, he thought he knew exactly what he saw. But we are sending it in so we will get an evaluation.’’