Mychal Kendricks had three tackles including one for loss in his Seahawks debut on Monday Night Football. But it's uncertain what the future holds for the Seahawks newly-signed linebacker who's pleaded guilty to insider trading.
CHICAGO — Mychael Kendricks talked about his first game with the Seattle Seahawks as a beginning instead of as the potential end of his NFL career.
“Just having this opportunity to play, it means so much to me,’’ said Kendricks, who signed with the Seahawks on Thursday and got the start Monday against the Bears at weakside linebacker in place of the injured K.J. Wright, making three tackles, including one of Seattle’s two sacks, and also batting way one pass and diving to try to pick off another. “I plan to do the most with it.’’
What even Kendricks may not know, however, is if or when he will play again.
Kendricks was released by the Browns on Aug. 30 after pleading guilty to insider trading. He faces sentencing in January with an expected range of 30-37 months in jail.
An ESPN report over the weekend stated that the NFL has already decided on a suspension for Kendricks but that Kendricks is eligible to play for now while on appeal, with the assumption that the decision on the appeal could come at any time and possibly before next Sunday’s game against Dallas.
Kendricks had three tackles and a sack of Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in the Seahawks’ 24-17 defeat to Chicago on Monday Night Football.
After Monday’s game, Kendricks essentially evaded comment when asked about the ESPN report on an imminent suspension, saying, “I leave that up to my counsel.’’
Asked if he thought he would be able to play at all this season, Kendricks said, “Like I said, I am not too sure and obviously there is always that concern. Like I said, it’s just a real blessing to have the opportunity.’’
Seattle set its eyes on Kendricks after learning middle linebacker Bobby Wagner would likely miss the game, which would cause Wright’s backup — Austin Calitro — to have to play in the middle.
The Seahawks felt Kendricks could make a quick adjustment because he played in a system in Philadelphia that is similar to Seattle’s.
The Seahawks used Kendricks largely on run downs, using a three-safety alignment on a lot of passing downs — in which Bradley McDougald essentially played where the weakside linebacker would be — which Seattle coach Pete Carroll said was done to try to limit what Kendricks would need to know.
Carroll raved about Kendricks’ play, saying, “He did a great job to jump in for K.J.’’
Said Kendricks: “There was a lot of carry over with a little different nuances and stuff. But I had a good grasp of it and their scheme and what they wanted to do.’’
A team official cut off an interview with Kendricks after just a few minutes and then he packed up his stuff and left.
When and whether he returns to the Seattle locker room remains on hold.