RENTON — When the Seahawks needed to create a roster spot in November after claiming receiver Josh Gordon, they cut linebacker Dekoda Watson, who had been with the team for only two days.
Wednesday, with Gordon suspended and another roster spot open, the Seahawks re-signed Watson to fill it.
The Seahawks announced Watson’s signing Wednesday morning, bringing back a nine-year NFL veteran who has not played this season but saw action in four games last year with the 49ers, making two sacks.
And it’s sacks the Seahawks will hope to get out of Watson, whom coach Pete Carroll said will be assessed to see if he can help out as an edge rusher, a spot that remains a big question for the Seahawks with Ziggy Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney continuing to battle injuries that had Carroll saying Wednesday that each will likely be game-time decisions for Sunday’s contest against Arizona.
“Well, he’s been a pass rusher in the past,” Carroll said Wednesday. “He’s been an edge player. We’re concerned about our guys coming back and we just want to make sure we have a chance to secure some depth to help us. That was the thought.”
The Seahawks reportedly brought in veteran tailbacks Robert Turbin and Alfred Blue for workouts Tuesday. It made sense that Seattle would add a tailback after it lost Rashaad Penny for the season with an ACL injury, which leaves it with just four tailbacks on its roster.
But they made a quick decision to sign Watson on Tuesday after calling him after he was on his way to a meeting with the same Arizona team Seattle hosts Sunday.
“I was going to be playing in the game Sunday regardless,” Watson said with a smile.
Watson said he had no hard feelings toward the Seahawks for being with the team for barely 48 hours earlier this season. For one, he got a full week’s pay, anyway — $54,706 according to OvertheCap.com.
For another, he got to be home for the birth of his third child, a son, who was born Nov. 8.
“It worked out perfectly,” he said.
How much Watson may be needed will likely depend on Ansah and Clowney’s availability.
Carroll said before practice that each would “get work today.”
But it turns out that only Ansah did. Ansah has missed the last two games with a neck issue but was a full participant in practice Wednesday, which would seem to indicate optimism that he’ll play Sunday.
However, Clowney — who did not play last week due to an illness and a core muscle injury — did not practice. He is past the illness and was listed as out Wednesday due solely to the core muscle injury.
“Got to get through the week and see what happens,” Carroll said. “We’ll just see as we progress and see if it’s right for those guys to play. I’m hoping to get them both back, but I can’t tell you right now.”
Wagner says he’s ‘probable/questionable’
Will Bobby Wagner play after sitting out the final 14 plays at Carolina with a sprained ankle?
Carroll did his best to confuse the issue while seeming to indicate he will.
“Well, he would probably be probable/questionable at this time, if we had to label it,” Carroll said, referencing what has become a running joke in recent weeks (the NFL has no such injury designation). We don’t know. He wanted me to make sure to not be optimistic. I said, ‘I can’t do that. You’re going to play. I know you’re going to play.’ I hope that really confused you.”
When Wagner talked to reporters a few minutes later, he parroted Carroll’s comment.
“Physically and mentally I’m amazing,” Wagner said. “I am probable/questionable. So, we’ll see.”
Wagner sat out Wednesday’s practice, a relatively short workout without pads, and he often gets rest this time of year anyway.
History would suggest Wagner will play. He has missed just one game in four seasons, a Monday night loss at Chicago last year with a groin injury. He’s missed only one other game since 2014.
Complicating matters are injuries to other linebackers.
Cody Barton, officially Wagner’s backup, was limited Wednesday with a thigh injury, while strongside linebacker Mychal Kendricks has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury and was again limited Wednesday.
Diggs out, Shaquill Griffin limited
Free safety Quandre Diggs did not practice after suffering a high-ankle sprain against the Panthers, and he seems unlikely to play this week.
Said Carroll: “I don’t know how he’s going to do. He couldn’t do anything yet today. We’ll see later in the week like all our guys are going all the way to game day.”
Offensive tackle George Fant sat out with an illness and Duane Brown did as he has done for weeks now, sitting to rest his knee and biceps issues.
Two other OLs also were limited: Center Joey Hunt (fibula) and guard Mike Iupati (neck).
Pro Bowl snubs?
It caught everyone’s eye that Seattle had just two invitees to the Pro Bowl — Wagner and QB Russell Wilson — despite an 11-3 record that is tied for the best in the NFC and tied for the second-best in the NFL.
Said Wagner: “It definitely should be higher. I feel like they hate on our team a lot because we’re in the Pacific Northwest. But we have a lot of amazing players on our team that deserved the Pro Bowl. Hopefully it’s a situation where nobody gets to go because we’re doing something a lot better than the Pro Bowl.”
Practice squad move
The Seahawks also signed rookie linebacker Sutton Smith, a Steelers sixth-round pick out of Northern Illinois, to their practice squad. Smith, who spent time on the Pittsburgh and Jacksonville practice squads this season, was the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year and an All-American in 2017 after leading the nation in tackles for loss with 29½ to go along with 14 sacks. He takes the place on the practice squad of linebacker Jermaine Grace, who was cut Tuesday.