Defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison has indeed played his last snap with the Seahawks.
The Seahawks waived Harrison on Monday after he met with coach Pete Carroll earlier in the day and said he did not want to play for the team after being made inactive for the game Sunday against the Rams.
“He’s decided to stop playing,” Carroll said during his radio show on ESPN 710 Seattle. “He’s done playing.”
Carroll said, “I don’t know what will happen with any other club,” seeming to hold out the idea that Harrison could play for another team. That might be difficult with just one week of the regular season remaining and COVID-19 protocols.
An NFL Network report said Harrison had asked for his release after being told he would be inactive for the game Sunday. Harrison confirmed on Twitter that he was done playing for Seattle.
But after the 20-9 victory over the Rams on Sunday that clinched the NFC West, Carroll said he knew Harrison was disappointed and added that he planned to talk with him Monday and couldn’t comment further.
But in the conversation, Harrison made it clear he was done with the Seahawks.
“He’s in good spirits and all that,” Carroll said. “He’s just, he’s done.”
A few minutes after Carroll’s radio show, Harrison confirmed that on Twitter.
“I want to thank my teammates and the Seahawks for allowing me to be a small part in the 2020 season,” Harrison tweeted. “Wish it didn’t have to end but it’s time for us both to move on. All love 12s”
Harrison found out over the weekend he would be inactive after the Seahawks activated second-year player Bryan Mone to be the third defensive tackle, backing up starters Jarran Reed and Poona Ford.
“What’s next for me?” Harrison tweeted Monday morning. “I’m not sure, I have to make sure my family is good before I do anything. They are my 1st priority. I’d like to keep playing but with Covid and other logistics it’s tough to just pack up and immediately leave. I’ll keep y’all posted!”
The 32-year-old signed with Seattle’s practice squad in October and was activated to the 53-player roster in November. He played in six games while Mone was rehabbing a high-ankle sprain.
Seattle has gone with a three-man tackle rotation all season, and Mone’s return — which the team announced Saturday — made Harrison the odd man out. Harrison had signed a one-year deal with Seattle for the veteran minimum of $1.05 million.
Mone played 26 snaps Sunday and had two tackles and a quarterback hit.
Other teams have 24 hours to claim Harrison off waivers. If no one does he would become a free agent. Harrison indicated he would want to pick his new team if an offer comes. There had been reports earlier in the year that Tampa Bay and Miami were interested.
Harrison wrote on Twitter that he hopes to keep playing: “That’s the plan. If I can work out the logistics of it. Not doing the waiver thing though … nah”
As Carroll noted, Harrison has seven kids and said Harrison is “going to try to just get them back home (the Dallas area) and get them safe.”
Harrison told reporters last month he was so eager to play for the Seahawks that he had decided to move his entire family to Seattle for the season.
Harrison had nine tackles in six games for Seattle, three solo, forcing a fumble in a 40-3 victory over the Jets.
“He was awesome to have around,” Carroll said. “We loved him. Sorry to see him go.”
Waiving Harrison opens a spot on Seattle’s 53-player roster. One possibility is cornerback Tre Flowers, who has returned to practice from a hamstring injury. Carroll told reporters during a Zoom call Monday that Flowers will be full go in practice this week with the expectation of returning to play Sunday against the 49ers.
Here’s more of what Carroll said on his radio show:
Reynolds play should have been fumble
There was a strange sequence on the Rams’ final possession when Los Angeles receiver Josh Reynolds laid down the ball after making a 13-yard catch without being touched. Linebacker Bobby Wagner picked it up, and the Seahawks appeared to have a recovery that would have essentially ended the game with 2:25 remaining.
Instead, officials ruled that Reynolds had given himself up by placing the ball on the ground and that it was not a fumble. Rams coach Sean McVay was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for running on the field to tell officials that Reynolds had given himself up.
Such a move is common in college football, where players are down when they touch a knee to the ground, But in the NFL, players are not down until they touch a knee to the ground and are touched by a defender.
Carroll said he felt officials were too lenient on the play.
“The opportunity to make a mistake was given, and the guy made a mistake,” Carroll said. “ … I understand why they called it, But guys make mistakes, and they pay for it.”
Carroll said that after correcting ESPN 710 host Paul Gallant that it was Reynolds on the play and not Robert Woods, noting that Woods “is a (USC) Trojan. He wouldn’t have done that.” Carroll coached at USC from 2001-09 before coming to Seattle.
Carroll said, “I don’t think that’s declared down at all,” and felt Seattle should have been given the ball.
The play gave the Rams a first down, but back at their 23 following the penalty on McVay. Seattle then stopped the Rams without allowing another first down to end the possession.
“I loved the way our guys responded,” Carroll said. “We thought we had them, and to come back and do it again.”
Penalty on Metcalf was right call
Another much-debated call came earlier in the quarter when Seattle receiver DK Metcalf was flagged for an illegal shift as he jogged to the right side of the line to get set on a third-and-one play.
Chris Carson ran for 2 yards and an apparent first down before the flag on Metcalf, which made it third-and-six. Seattle did not convert that one — the only third down of the second half Seattle didn’t convert other than a kneel-down on the final series — and was forced to punt, ahead just 13-9 at the time.
Carroll said after watching film he could not dispute the call.
“He barely moved,” Carroll said. “ … (but) he did. He should have been still. A lot of times they don’t call that stuff, but they got it right. They weren’t wrong on it.”
Metcalf had six receptions for 59 yards and was shadowed often by Rams standout cornerback Jalen Ramsey. But five of the catches appeared to come against a zone or while matched up against other defenders.
“He had a really good, tough game yesterday, I thought,” Carroll said of Metcalf.
Carroll noted that the Seahawks tried to move Metcalf to different positions — and though he didn’t say it, the obvious reason was to get him matched up against defenders other than Ramsey.
According to Pro Football Focus, Metcalf lined up in the slot on 22 of his 61 snaps, a season high, and was on the line once. The previous high was 16 on 64 snaps in the first game against the Rams.
Seattle’s final TD a matter of trust
The Seahawks essentially put the game away with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Jacob Hollister on a third-and-four play with 2:51 left that made it 20-9.
On the play, Metcalf and Tyler Lockett were lined up to the right side, and Hollister and rookie Freddie Swain on the left.
But if going to Lockett or Metcalf might have seemed more logical based on their production this season, Carroll noted that Wilson made the right choice because Hollister was the most open receiver, having broken free at the line of Rams safety Jordan Fuller.
“It was really a statement of trust,” Carroll said. “It matched up beautifully, He went there because it was one on one by those guys (the Rams). Russ did it exactly as he’s supposed to.”
Carroll said Swain executed his role in running an in route that helped create separation for Hollister.
“Freddie did it great there,” Carroll said. “And Jake was patient and poised. He didn’t rush it. It was just perfect, And what a great moment, you know?”
- Carroll said there was no update on receiver Josh Gordon’s situation. Gordon remains on the commissioner’s exempt list, where he was returned last week after the league told Gordon and the team that he had not fulfilled the terms of his conditional reinstatement from suspension. Gordon can attend meetings and workouts but cannot practice or play.
- Carroll said rookie defensive end Darrell Taylor was “pretty sore” after workouts this weekend, casting further doubt about whether he will practice this week. Carroll said he’d wait until Wednesday to make a final determination for this week.
- Bobby Wagner suffered a forearm injury Sunday, but Carroll said Monday that Wagner said it’s no big deal. “He won’t even let us look at it, so I think he’s OK,” Carroll said.
- Carroll said right tackle Brandon Shell (ankle) suited up Sunday as an emergency player, with Cedric Ogbuehi getting the start at right tackle. Carroll said Shell will practice this week.