The Seahawks created an opening on their 53-man roster Tuesday by waiving backup quarterback Jake Luton.
And then they quickly filled it by signing defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche to the 53 off their practice squad.
Nkemdiche has played in the last two games after being elevated from the practice squad, and he was on the field for 44 snaps in Sunday’s 30-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He has nine tackles on the season, seven in the loss to the Titans.
However, players can be elevated off the practice squad just twice in a season. For Nkemdiche to continue to play, he had to be signed to the 53.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll foreshadowed the move Monday saying the team would “have to consider” adding Nkemdiche to the roster.
“He’s played good, hard football,” Carroll said of Nkemdiche, who was the 29th overall pick in the 2016 draft by Arizona out of Ole Miss and did not play in 2020. “It’s good to see him back. He missed a year, so we are working him back in. He’s playing real hard and playing the scheme fine, so he can help us.”
Luton, a graduate of Marysville Pilchuck, was signed on Sept. 2 after preseason games were played, with Carroll saying the team wanted to give him a few weeks to compete with Geno Smith for the backup job.
Luton was not active for any of the first three games, and Seattle has typically had just two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.
Seattle is likely hoping Luton will clear waivers and that the Seahawks can then re-sign him to the practice squad.
Seattle created three more practice squad openings on Tuesday by releasing receivers Connor Wedington and De’Quan Hampton and tight end Michael Jacobsen.
Seattle filled one of the practice squad openings by signing tight end Jace Sternberger, a move first reported as likely to happen last week.
Seattle had five receivers on its practice squad last week, adding depth at the spot with Dee Eskridge missing the last two games with a concussion. But Eskridge may be back this week, Carroll said Monday.
The Seahawks were also reported to have had workouts with cornerbacks Josh Shaw and Simeon Thomas and tight end Ryan Izzo.
Thomas was on Seattle’s practice squad in 2018 and in camp with the team in 2019. He played in 12 games for Washington in 2019 and was most recently with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League before being released in July.
Shaw, who played at USC, has played in 55 NFL games with the Bengals, Chiefs and Tampa Bay, but none since 2018.
Izzo was a seventh-round pick of the Patriots in 2018 and was released by the Giants off their practice squad last week.
Seattle has three openings on its practice squad.