The Seahawks’ standing as the only NFL team to not have a player on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list came to an end Saturday when they placed defensive tackle Bryan Mone on the list.
Mone is also on injured reserve with a high-ankle sprain suffered in a loss at Buffalo. Going on the reserve/COVID-19 list means Mone either tested positive or was deemed to have potentially had close contact with someone who has. Teams do not have to specify the reason.
Every other NFL team has already placed at least one player on the list, with most teams having had multiple players go on it. Seahawks receiver John Ursua briefly went on the list during training camp but was deemed to have had a false positive test.
Under rules that were enhanced earlier this season, a player can return to the active roster after five days if they’re asymptomatic and have two negative tests in a row. Players must spend 10 days on the list if they show symptoms.
Mone is in his second year out of Michigan and played in the first eight games as a part of the team’s regular defensive tackle rotation before going on IR with the ankle injury. Veteran Damon “Snacks” Harrison took his place on the roster.
Seattle on Saturday also placed cornerback Tre Flowers on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, elevated offensive tackle Chad Wheeler off the practice squad to the active roster for Sunday’s game against the Giants and downgraded tackle Cedric Ogbuehi to questionable on the injury report with a calf injury.
Going on IR means Flowers will miss at least three games. New rules this year mean any player going on IR is eligible to return after three games, and there is no limit on how many players can come back from IR.
Flowers has started seven games this season and each of the past five as a replacement for injured Quinton Dunbar and Shaquill Griffin.
Griffin is now back, and with Flowers out, the Seahawks will roll with D.J. Reed at cornerback Sunday. Reed started two games earlier this year at left cornerback and will now start at right cornerback in place of Flowers with Griffin on the left side.
Flowers played every snap in Monday night’s 23-17 win over the Eagles but coach Pete Carroll said he suffered a hamstring injury at some point.
“He came out of the game with his hamstring tight, did the MRI and he’s got something that we have to deal with,” Carroll said Friday. “It’s not a serious hamstring injury, but it’s enough to really bother him this week, and to expect for him to turn around and bounce back around this week is a lot to expect.”
Carroll also said Friday he thinks Dunbar may be able to come off IR for next week’s game against the Jets. Dunbar went on IR due to a knee injury and if he can return next week could just take Flowers’ spot on the 53-player roster.
Ogbuehi started the Eagles game at right tackle in place of the injured Brandon Shell. Shell is again listed as doubtful with an ankle injury and Ogbuehi is expected to again start in his place.
But he developed a calf injury during practice Friday and was listed as limited. Carroll indicated Ogbuehi might be able to play, but the Seahawks listing him as questionable obviously indicates it’s not a certainty.
“Cedric’s got something bothering his calf a little bit so we just rested him today,” Carroll said. “That showed up in the early part of practice today so we didn’t know about it until today.”
If Ogbuehi and Shell each can’t go — and Carroll essentially said not to expect Shell to be able to play — then the Seahawks may have to start Jamarco Jones at right tackle.
Jones, a fifth-round pick in 2018 out of Ohio State, has four career starts, but none at right tackle. He started one game at left tackle last year in place of Duane Brown (a late-season home loss to Arizona) and has three other starts at right guard, two last year and one this season against Arizona on Nov. 19 when Damien Lewis moved to center.
Elevating Wheeler adds depth at the tackle spot. Wheeler, who played at USC, has 19 career starts, all with the Giants in 2017-18, with 17 at right tackle.
Wheeler was also elevated for the season opener against Atlanta but did not play. He has been on Seattle’s practice squad or offseason roster since last October but has not seen action with the Seahawks.
Seahawks try out former QBs McGough, Barrett
Official NFL transactions showed the Seahawks tried out two quarterbacks Friday who have each been on their roster before — J.T. Barrett and Alex McGough.
McGough was Seattle’s seventh-round pick in 2018 and spent the 2018 season on the practice squad before signing after the season with Jacksonville. He has since also been with Houston but has not played in an NFL game and has been a free agent since being released by the Texans in October.
Barrett, who played at Ohio State, was briefly with Seattle during training camp in 2019 and has also been on rosters with the Saints and Steelers but has been a free agent since being released by Pittsburgh in August.
The tryouts indicate Seattle may be looking for some depth and insurance at the game’s most important position in the wake of increasing COVID-19 outbreaks around the league — and doing so with a player who already is familiar with their system with just four games remaining after Sunday’s contest against the Giants.
Specifically, the Denver Broncos were left using receiver Kendall Hinton at quarterback last week against the Saints after their four quarterbacks were all quarantined.
Seattle also had a tryout with Tyree Jackson, listed as a tight end but who played quarterback in college at Buffalo and played quarterback in the XFL. Jackson has not been on an NFL roster since being waived by the Buffalo Bills in August 2018.
Seattle has three quarterbacks on its roster — Russell Wilson and Geno Smith on the active 53-player roster and Danny Etling on the practice squad.
Carroll said this week that Etling would be kept separate from the other two to try to assure Seattle would always have a quarterback available. Seattle, though, may be looking to add another to the practice squad as added insurance.
“We have been in the conversation of this for a long time and we actually kicked into a new gear just by the — I hate to say we had to wait to see something bad happen — but we have stepped forward in terms of taking care of Danny,” Carroll said earlier this week. “So to make sure that he is apart from the other QBs so if we had, heaven forbid, some kind of a circumstance, he would not be considered connected to those guys. So in essence he is separated from the QBs for now. And he has done a fantastic job to this point where we trust that he can go to all the meetings virtually, stay with us, he’ll work out and all that kind of stuff, apart from those guys and we’ll keep him available. So that is our guy. ”