The Seahawks on Tuesday worked out five running backs, according to the league's official transaction wire. The news comes with starting tailback Thomas Rawls nursing a bruised shoulder suffered Saturday against Arizona.
While Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday he expects Thomas Rawls will be able to play Sunday against the 49ers, the team appears to be looking at other tailback options just in case — either for this week or the playoffs.
The NFL’s official transaction wire confirmed that the Seahawks on Tuesday worked out five running backs, four of whom have some significant NFL experience — Stevan Ridley, Jonas Gray, LaMichael James, Dominique Williams and Daniel “Boom” Herron.
There was also a report (which has yet to be confirmed by the transaction wire or the team) that the Seahawks have re-signed running back Kelvin Taylor to the practice squad. Taylor, a sixth-round pick of the 49ers this year, was on Seattle’s active roster for the win over the Rams, then released the following week. He is the son of former NFL star Fred Taylor, and like his father played at Florida.
Rawls suffered a bruised shoulder in the first half of Saturday’s 34-31 loss to Arizona (he came up holding his shoulder/pec area following a run midway through the second quarter) and did not play in the second half.
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He had an MRI Monday afternoon but the results were not available when Carroll met the media later in the day.
Carroll, though, said he expected Rawls to be okay, saying “I think he will end up” being able to play.
Still, the Seahawks have dealt with depth issues at tailback all season, dating to Rawls suffering a fibula injury in the second game of the year. They are also playing without C.J. Prosise, who has been sidelined since the game against the Eagles Nov. 20, and Troymaine Pope, who was placed on IR with an ankle injury following the Green Bay game.
Seattle’s leading rusher for the season, in fact, remains Christine Michael, who gained 469 yards before being released prior to the game against the Eagles — Rawls is next with 335.
Without Rawls in the second half last week the Seahawks went primarily with rookie Alex Collins at tailback and he responded with 28 yards on seven carries. Seattle last week also re-signed Terrence Magee, who played one snap against the Cardinals.
Collins would almost certainly get the start at San Francisco if Rawls couldn’t go.
Each of the five players worked out Tuesday has been on an NFL roster at some point in the last two seasons, but is currently a free agent (it’s also worth noting that teams can begin signing players to “futures” contracts next week. Those are contracts that bind the player to the team for when rosters expand to the training camp maximum of 90 later in the year).
Ridley, a third-round pick of the Patriots in 2011, may be the most accomplished of that group, with 2,914 yards in 62 career NFL games, though he played in only one game this season with Atlanta.
Gray was released by Jacksonville in August and has not played this season but has 588 yards in parts of four NFL seasons, memorably gaining 201 yards in a game for the Patriots in 2014.
James, a former Oregon standout, has not been on a roster since being waived by the Dolphins in 2015. A former second-round pick of the 49ers, he has 193 yards in 18 career games.
Williams, released by the Jets in September, has not played in any NFL games.
Herron, who played at Ohio State, was released by Buffalo before the season. He has 468 yards in an NFL career that dates to 2012.