During the first two weeks of the season, the Seahawks held out hope that receiver Phillip Dorsett II would be able to play, listing him as questionable going into the games.
There’s no hope of that this week, as Seattle coach Pete Carroll already declared Dorsett out for the game Sunday against Dallas when he met media members Monday via Zoom and hinted at a possible longer-term absence.
“We’re going to rest him for sure,’’ Carroll said.
Dorsett, one of the team’s key offseason signees who was thought to be able to win a spot as the third receiver, has been ailing since the middle of August with a sore foot.
“We need to give him a break to make sure that his foot is healed and back,’’ Carroll said. “He tried to get back this week to play in the game and he couldn’t do it, so we have to give him more time and we have to consider what we’re doing with that.’’
New rules put in place this season due to COVID-19 would allow the Seahawks to put him on injured reserve with the ability to bring him back after just three weeks.
That might make sense for Seattle, particularly considering the Seahawks have a bye following their fifth game on Oct. 11 against Minnesota.
That would mean Dorsett could return Oct. 25 against Arizona while getting basically a month off to let the foot heal.
The Seahawks have gotten good performances out of David Moore and Freddie Swain, who each caught touchdowns in the 35-30 victory Sunday over the Patriots while playing 32 and 12 snaps respectively, filling in as complementary receivers after the starting duo of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Seattle also has Penny Hart as a fifth receiver.
One option should Seattle place Dorsett on IR is calling up a receiver from the practice squad to take his place, the most obvious option being second-year player John Ursua, a seventh-round draft choice in 2019.
Dorsett opened camp to raves, with Carroll calling him the fastest player the team has ever had before the foot issue popped up and held him out of all three of the team’s mock games, as well as the first two regular-season games.
Carroll also said both defensive lineman Rasheem Green (stinger) and offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi (pec muscle) will have a chance to return this week but said specifically of Green that he will be re-evaluated Wednesday.
Green’s return in particular looms pivotal after the team lost Bruce Irvin for the season to an ACL injury and the Seahawks needing to revamp their defensive line rotation somewhat as a result.
Carroll also said left tackle Duane Brown suffered a foot injury on the first series of the game. After missing five plays, Brown returned to play the rest of the game.
But Carroll hinted that, at the least, Brown will need to be monitored during the week.
“He had a sore foot coming out of the game and I don’t know the extent of the injury,’’ Carroll said.
The Seahawks already have been limiting Brown’s practice reps due to a knee issue.
Carroll also revealed that both cornerback Tre Flowers and safety Jamal Adams suffered dislocated fingers, but he said both players are fine.
Wagner’s leadership key on the final play
Carroll said an underrated factor in Seattle stopping Cam Newton for a 1-yard loss on the final play of the game was the ability of middle linebacker Bobby Wagner to get the defense set up properly.
Specifically, Wagner made the call as the play unfolded to have the defensive line slant to its right at the snap, with Wagner reading correctly that the Patriots planned to run to their left, as they had on two previous touchdown runs by Newton.
“He had to go in the huddle and tell them something that they hadn’t heard before, and when he did, he conveyed it, and he had to wait to make the call and he makes the call and everybody executed just right,’’ Carroll said of the play, in which safety Lano Hill blew up a lead block by fullback Jakob Johnson, allowing L.J. Collier room to make the tackle. “It was really a masterful demonstration of his control, and the impact that he has on those guys. … It shows the respect they have for him; it shows his command of the game.’’
Lineman Kyle Fuller off suspended list
The Seahawks might have another roster move to make this week as the two-game suspension for offensive lineman Kyle Fuller for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs ended Monday.
For now, Fuller is on the exempt list and does not count against the 53-player roster. But to play, he will have to be placed on the 53-player roster and someone else taken off.
Fuller competed with B.J. Finney for the backup center spot throughout training camp.
Rush returned to practice squad
Seattle on Monday also returned defensive lineman Anthony Rush to the practice squad after activating him Saturday. That’s possible this year thanks to new practice-squad rules.
Rush played 15 snaps, including on the final play of the game, and Carroll cited his play as a reason the Seahawks held the Patriots to 67 yards rushing and only 20 on 14 carries from their running backs.
“Our guys did a really, really good job in the middle and up front.’’ Carroll said. “Anthony Rush is a big kid. He weighs 360 and plays like it.’’