The Seahawks added Keenan Reynolds as insurance, waiving former WSU standout Shalom Luani to make room on the 53-man roster.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday “it would be a pretty big accomplishment” for Doug Baldwin to play Monday night against the Chicago Bears, which means his streak of 89 straight games played dating to the 2012 season — the fourth-longest for a receiver in the NFL — will likely come to an end.
But the typically optimistic Carroll didn’t completely rule out Baldwin, who suffered a sprained MCL on his right knee against Denver Sunday, might be able to play against the Bears.
While that may not be realistic, the bigger picture is that Carroll doesn’t appear to think Baldwin will be out long — a two to three weeks or so seems to be the general expectation.
“He’s really going to go a few days at a time here and see what happens,” Carroll said. “We’ll wait and see. We don’t know yet. It could be a couple of weeks and we will find out. He is as tough as they get and we’ll need to wait. He just got his stuff back, his science back, and we will find out in the next couple of days what that means.”
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Seattle, though, added depth in case Baldwin can’t play this week or the next few, signing Keenan Reynolds from the practice squad. To make room on the 53-man roster Seattle waived safety Shalom Luani, a former Washington State standout acquired from the Seahawks the weekend before the season for a 2019 seventh-round draft pick. The pick was not listed as conditional. Luani was not active for Sunday’s game at Denver.
Reynolds, a quarterback at Navy who has made the transition to receiver at the NFL level, saw ample action during the preseason playing slot receiver, Baldwin’s primary position.
Reynolds, who has been in the NFL since 2016 and caught four passes for 35 yards in the preseason for Seattle, has yet to play in an NFL regular season game. He was on the 53-man roster for the Baltimore Ravens for their regular season finale in 2016 but did not play.
Carroll didn’t specifically confirm a report that Baldwin has a Grade 2 partial tear of the MCL but did say Baldwin has “MCL issues.”
Asked if there was any concern about Baldwin not being able to come back from the injury — Baldwin sat out the preseason to rest his left knee — Carroll said no.
“He’ll be able to get back from this, yeah,” Carroll said. “He’ll come back from it. It just depends. We’ve got to see it through. It’s really early in the year We’ve got to take care of him and look after him, first and foremost, and we will only do what he is capable of doing.”
Baldwin was hurt on a running play in the first quarter when Denver’s Domata Peko rolled up on him. He continued to play into the second quarter before being pulled out and saw just 11 snaps and did not make a catch in a game for the first time since 2013.
Without Baldwin Seattle had just four receivers in the second half at Denver — Tyler Lockett, Brandon Marshall, Jaron Brown and David Moore. Lockett played all but one snap in seeing more time with Baldwin out, and Carroll also noted that the absence of Baldwin contributed to the team’s woes on third down as the Seahawks converted just two of 12.
“Doug is a guy that we use on third downs in the slot and obviously we didn’t perform well on third down and we didn’t respond as well as we would have liked to without him,” Carroll said. “He has been a key player there for a long time so it did affect us.”
Carroll said the team could also consider using running back C.J. Prosise — who was a starter for two seasons as a receiver at Notre Dame before being moved to tailback — more in receiving roles to add more depth at that position.
“We have been talking about it,” Carroll said of Prosise, a third-round pick in 2016 who saw seven snaps on Sunday, most coming on the final drive of the game. “He does have the background of a couple years in college.”
— Carroll said linebacker K.J. Wright is beginning a running program this week after having arthroscopic surgery two weeks ago but said it’s unclear if he will return for Monday’s game. “He’s very positive about it but I can’t tell you what that means for the weekend,” Carroll said. “I don’t know that yet.” Shaquem Griffin started at weakside linebacker in place of Wright but the Seahawks used Austin Calitro more there as the game went on and Calitro might get the start this week if Wright cannot go.
— Carroll said it’s unclear if D.J. Fluker will play this week but noted again that J.R. Sweezy’s presence at that spot allows them to be patient with the return of Fluker, who hurt his hamstring in the third preseason game at Minnesota.
— Carroll said DE Frank Clark was dealing with a sore elbow against Denver.
— The Seahawks signed WR Malik Turner and CB Simeon Thomas to the practice squad, taking the places of Reynolds and DT Frank Herron — who was released. Turner had 91 yards on five receptions in the preseason for Seattle before being waived while Seattle claimed Thomas off of waivers from Cleveland after the preseason. Seattle waived Thomas last week to make room on the roster for Earl Thomas but it was known Seattle wanted to keep him around if he cleared waivers.