SEATTLE – Cornerback Byron Maxwell was placed on injured reserve and tight end Ed Dickson was placed on the non-football injury list as the Seattle Seahawks reached the 53-man roster limit Saturday.
Maxwell entered training camp as a starter in the secondary, but was rarely on the field during the preseason due to a hip injury. Maxwell returned to Seattle midway through last season and proved he could still be a quality cornerback playing in Seattle’s system after struggling in Philadelphia and Miami in different defensive schemes.
With Maxwell out, Dontae Johnson becomes the presumptive starter at right cornerback, although Seattle will likely be active looking for other options on the waiver wire. Johnson started 16 games last season for San Francisco before coming to Seattle in the offseason.
Seattle will debut a significantly overhauled secondary in the opener at Denver. Shaquill Griffin, Justin Coleman and Bradley McDougald are the holdovers, with Johnson likely at one cornerback spot and likely Tedric Thompson at safety with Earl Thomas continuing his holdout. Rookie Tre Flowers is also in the mix for significant playing time.
Dickson never participated in training camp, and had a setback in his recovery from muscle injuries to his quadriceps and groin. He tweeted Friday that he was ready for the season, but as additional insurance the Seahawks acquired tight end Darrell Daniels from Indianapolis in exchange for wide receiver Marcus Johnson.
It was one of two trades Seattle made Saturday, sending a 2019 seventh-round pick to Oakland in exchange for safety Shalom Luani.
One piece of good news for Seattle was defensive end Dion Jordan being activated from the physically unable to perform list. Jordan had been sidelined during training camp because of a knee and shin injury, but coach Pete Carroll said last week that Jordan was on the cusp of returning. Jordan’s addition would be a boost to a pass rush that is one of Seattle’s biggest concerns going into the regular season.
Among the more notable cuts for Seattle was veteran safety Maurice Alexander and wide receiver Amara Darboh, a 2017 third-round pick.
Alexander was a surprise cut especially after he spent a big chunk of the preseason finale against Oakland showing his versatility by playing weakside linebacker. Alexander was thought to be a potential veteran option at safety and could possibly fill in at linebacker if rookie Shaquem Griffin struggled. Griffin is in line to start the opener with K.J. Wright recovering from minor knee surgery.
Darboh never flashed as the Seahawks had hoped and was beat out for the fifth wide receiver spot by David Moore, another draft pick from 2017. Moore had been a standout during the preseason both as a wide receiver and on special teams. Darboh was also impacted by Seattle’s decision to carry five running backs, although J.D. McKissic is currently out with a foot injury.
Seattle also released linebacker D.J. Alexander, a special teams standout a season ago, 2017 draft pick Mike Tyson and rookie quarterback Alex McGough. McGough showed enough in preseason to be a developmental option on the practice squad after being taken in the seventh-round this year.
Along with Maxwell, offensive lineman Jamarco Jones, quarterback Austin Davis and linebacker Erik Walden were placed on injured reserve.
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