RENTON, Wash. – The Seahawks got back to work Monday following their trip to London and their bye week. They were on the field for a little more than an hour at the VMAC as they began preparations for their game Sunday at Detroit.
They did so with a roster fortified by a few players returning from injury.
Outside linebacker K.J. Wright has been out all season after having arthroscopic knee surgery, but he returned to the field and might be able to play Sunday.
Tight end Ed Dickson has been on the Non-Football Injury list with a quad injury suffered in offseason training. Monday was the first day he was eligible to practice, and he can play immediately. But the team would have to make a move to restore him to the 53-man active roster (unlike with Wright, who has been on the active roster all along).
“They did fine,” head coach Pete Carroll said of how Dickson and Wright looked in practice. “I need to see the film to see it all. We limited them — they didn’t take all of the work, probably had a dozen competitive plays as well as all the rest of the stuff in practice, but enough to get them going and feeling part of it.”
“Really, this is just kind of break the ice today for them. They have been working really hard, so that this isn’t a big jump for them. It’s part of their rehab, particularly for Ed, who has had a long time to work at this,” Carroll said. “He has been running really hard, so he should not feel like it’s a big step for him to get back on the practice field, and should be able to play for us this weekend if he makes it though the week.”
Asked whether Wright could potentially play against Detroit, Carroll the Seahawks would “look after him, for sure” and see how he progresses through the week.
The Seahawks have largely gone with a nickel defense the past two weeks, using Barkevious Mingo in weakside linebacker roles along with Bobby Wagner in the middle. The Seahawks could continue to use that scheme to ease Wright back in.
It’s been a new role for Mingo, and Carroll said it gives the team some flexibility it wasn’t really expecting. The Seahawks began the season thinking Mingo would play mostly strongside linebacker in the base defense and be a rusher in the nickel.
Meanwhile, Dickson would add a fourth tight end to the 53-man roster, along with Nick Vannett, Darrell Daniels and Tyrone Swoopes, if he returns this week.
Vannett sat out against the Raiders with a back issue but he practiced Monday and also wrote on Twitter on Sunday that he feels good to go.
So Seattle might have a decision to make about how many tight ends to keep. With Vannett out for the London game, the Seahawks added Swoopes to the active roster the day before they played the Raiders to assure a second tight end on game day.
The Seahawks made one change to the 53-man roster Monday, one that was forced on them when safety T.J. Green decided to give up football. Green, who was signed after the season-ending injury to Earl Thomas, was not active for the two games he was on Seattle’s roster.
Carroll said all he knew is that Green “was done playing football.” Seattle retains his rights, with Green officially listed as exempt. So if he decided to play again, he’d again become a member of the Seahawks.
To take his place on the 53-man roster, Seattle claimed linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee off waivers from the Chargers.
An undrafted rookie free agent from Rice, Ellerbee was in camp with the Falcons before being waived. He then joined the Chargers, for whom he played in three games without recording a statistic.
That Ellerbee played for two teams whose defenses are run by former Seahawks coordinators is a plus, Carroll said.
“That always helps, knowing that there will be a little bit of ease in the transition,’’ Carroll said.
The 6-foot-1, 236-pounder played middle linebacker and weakside linebacker for the Chargers, and also on special teams.
“He looked good on film,” Carroll said. “We liked him through the process, evaluations for the draft. Just a chance to add another competitive guy and see where he fits.”
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