Just as they seemed to be getting healthy, the Seahawks reportedly suffered another big injury.
With two and a half weeks remaining until roster decisions must be made, Pete Carroll and his coaches are making their midway tweaks and setting timelines for injured players. And now word comes that J.D. McKissic is out 4-6 weeks with a broken foot.
Among the other big developments Tuesday, based on Carroll’s comments: George Fant will move to right tackle to challenge Germain Ifedi; Doug Baldwin and Rashaad Penny might play next week and will definitely be ready for the opener; Amara Darboh has a new injury that could land him on IR; and Dion Jordan is probably not going to be ready for the opener in Denver.
On top of that, both kickers released Monday were picked up and the Hawks brought in another pass rusher, troubled Junior Galette, for a tryout.
McKissic joins Jamarco Jones as players with significant injuries suffered during preseason. Carroll now will have to decide whether to put them on IR (season-ending or short-term) or carry them on the 53-man roster.
McKissic’s injury is good news for C.J. Prosise, who now seemingly just needs to stay healthy to make the team. Of course, that is a tall order for the former third-round pick.
As for Carroll’s revelations today …
Many had been expecting Fant, recovering from an ACL injury, to battle Ifedi at right tackle, so it was no surprise that Carroll finally said, “The comp is on. We think he’s ready to compete at that spot. That was our thought the whole time.”
Duane Brown told 710 ESPN that flipping from left to right is “very tough. Right tackle and left tackle are two different worlds. All the techniques that you learn, you have to switch it in your head. The body mechanics, you have to flip it. You have to teach your eyes to look in different areas. It’s different. But I think George is ready for any challenge. I think whatever the coaches have planned, I’m sure he’ll follow through on it. But for now, the time he’s spent at left tackle, he’s been looking pretty good.”
Ifedi has had an uneven preseason, and this move confirms that coaches feel the same as many fans. Isaiah Battle (sprained knee) apparently returned to practice as well and worked a little at left tackle.
Carroll said Ifedi “did some good stuff, and he got in trouble a couple of times (vs. the Chargers). He’s cleaned up some things in his game that I’m happy about and I’m hoping that would continue. He went against a really good guy (Melvin Ingram) who got after him a little bit. He got after all of us a little bit.
“But, (Ifedi is) making progress, and he’s competing like crazy, and he’s learning the new stuff, he’s picking it up. He’s getting challenged, too. He knows we think a lot of George Fant; knows we have a high opinion of what he’s capable of doing and we’ve thought the same about Isaiah (Battle), too. He’s obviously in a competition over there, and it’s going to bring out the best in everybody.”
Fant and Battle weren’t the only linemen working at other spots; J.R. Sweezy (ankle) returned to practice and worked at left guard, while Rees Odhiambo, who typically works on the left side, practiced at right guard. Obviously, it was Move Day on the O-line.
Elsewhere on offense, Carroll said Baldwin (knee) wants to play next week against Oakland. “We’ll make that determination next week,” the coach said. “He’s going to be there for the opener.”
Penny (broken finger) was in pads Tuesday and could be back for the Oakland game, Carroll said, and will “for sure” play in the opener at Denver.
Darboh underwent tests on an injured clavicle, which is a new ailment; he previously had been sidelined by a hip/groin injury. It wouldn’t be surprising if he ended up on IR — given his lack of preseason availability and the team’s reluctance to part with a third-round pick after just one year. That would open a spot for another offensive player — a different sixth receiver or a lineman — in our projections.
Ed Dickson is in question for Denver, with Carroll saying only, “We’re hoping he’ll make it back.” Dickson has been on NFI all camp with a groin/quad injury.
Carroll said Jordan (knee) is “trying to get back next week” but it might be overly optimistic to think he’ll be ready for Denver. The decision on whether to remove Jordan from PUP will depend on whether Carroll thinks the pass rusher will be ready to go at some point in September.
In the meantime, the Hawks are still checking out pass rushers, with Galette reportedly coming for a look-see. Galette recorded 23 sacks for the Saints in 2013-14, but off-field issues (as recently as April 2017) have made him a pariah. These videos should bring a lot of questions if the Hawks sign him.
Speaking of signings, Jon Ryan and Jason Myers quickly found work after they lost their gigs to Michael Dickson and Sebastian Janikowski. Ryan joined Steven Hauschka with the Bills, and Myers was claimed by the Jets.
Dickson called winning the punting job “bittersweet. Jon Ryan was a mentor to me. He’s probably one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.”
Carroll said they made the kicking decisions now because they want to see more of Dickson’s tricks and let him and Janikowski get in rhythm on place kicks over the next two weeks.
“There’s just a lot of things that we’re excited about with (Dickson), and we need to get it going,” Carroll said. “What he has shown us so far is stuff that we’d never seen. We’ll see how it goes and if any of it fits into our game to allow us to do different things. … Brian Schneider and he are working on a lot of stuff, and we’ll see how it turns out.”
Other practice notes:
Bradley McDougald sat out with a strained pectoral muscle suffered in Los Angeles. That left Maurice Alexander, Tedric Thompson and Delano Hill working as the top safeties.
The Hawks got a few other guys back as well: Byron Maxwell, Trovon Reed and TE Clayton Wilson.
Elsewhere, the Cowboys signed former Seahawk Jeron Johnson — their second new safety in two days — making us wonder whether they are getting closer to improving their offer for Earl Thomas.