RENTON -- The Seahawks brought back veteran nickel cornerback Jamar Taylor to help bolster their secondary ahead of Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Seahawks had released Taylor during final roster cuts after making a trade for Parry Nickerson from the New York Jets. A week later, Seattle re-signed Taylor and waived Nickerson before bringing him back to their practice squad. Taylor's return helps account for rookie defensive back Ugo Amadi dealing with a shoulder injury after a hard collision with Bradley McDougald in last week's season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.
"He goes right back into the nickel spot and competing at that spot," head coach Pete Carroll said of Taylor. "Ugo took a big shot too and we're not sure how he'll come back, but he sounds really good. He's going to go today and practice but we're just concerned about that."
Taylor returned home following his release from the Seahawks uncertain of what was to come next. Because veteran contracts are fully guaranteed if a player is on the roster for the first game of the season, Taylor was stuck in limbo until after the first week was in the books. With Amadi dinged up, the Seahawks made the move to bring Taylor back to town.
"I didn't know how this thing was going to shake out," Taylor said. I didn't know I was coming back here so I went home, worked out, spent time with my daughter," Taylor said.
"They said if it all panned out and it made sense then they would (be interested). You never know with the league, so I just took it as I was thankful for the opportunity. I went home and went to work, put my head down and just praying something came back up."
Taylor had worked as the team's starting nickel back at times during training camp, including the third preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
"He made a great impression with us," Carroll said. "He practiced great. He was smart. He brought experience with the young group, you could feel it. He's really fast. He's tough and he fit the scheme well so he did a nice job. Could have easily have been here on day one, we just made the choice the way we did but we feel fortunate to get him back."
The Seahawks didn't use their nickel package nearly as often against the Bengals as they did last season. Former nickel cornerback Justin Coleman played nearly 68 percent of all defensive snaps for Seattle last year. Amadi and Akeem King combined to play on just 22 of 77 defensive snaps against Cincinnati (28.6 percent). Seattle kept three linebackers on the field most of the game against Cincinnati instead. Taylor's return could give them more comfort to play with a fifth defensive back more often.
It's an added benefit that he's so accustomed to playing the Pittsburgh Steelers. Taylor played the Steelers four times during his two seasons with the Cleveland Browns in 2016-17.
"Pittsburgh being Pittsburgh," Taylor said of what he expects on Sunday. "Ben (Roethlisberger)controlling the show, maybe them running the ball with James (Connor). Obviously, he's a good back. But at the end of the day, they're going to do whatever Ben calls.
"He's a coach on the field. He's been doing it for a long time. There's nothing that he hasn't seen. He takes his time calling the plays at the line. He's got good receivers that can get open. He's got a good running back that's like a receiver and he can run the ball, so we've just got to play our football."
Defensive tackle Poona Ford, safety Tedric Thompson, wide receiver Tyler Lockett and center Justin Britt were among six players that did not participate in practice on Wednesday for the Seahawks.
Thompson and Lockett were both unexpected additions to the injury report as head coach Pete Carroll had not said anything regarding injuries for the two players so far this week. Thompson was held out because of a hamstring injury and Lockett didn't take part due to a back issue. Both players finished last week's game against the Bengals.
Ford is considered day-to-day as he tries to work back from a calf strain that led to a late exit on Sunday.
"Poona got a calf strain that we've got to monitor," Carroll said. "He wants to go but we're going to hold him back today and we'll just go one day at a time and see how it goes."
Britt played through knee discomfort having colliding heavily with tight end Will Dissly on the second play of the Cincinnati game. Britt is still expected to be ready to play against the Steelers on Sunday.
"He was pretty sore, yeah," Carroll said. "He got banged pretty good. It was great that he stayed out and played the game for us. He's a little gimpy today. He'll do some stuff today but he got whacked pretty good."
Dissly was a full participant in Wednesday's practice and is fine, per Carroll, after leaving the Bengals game with a right knee injury as well.
Left guard Mike Iupati (foot), defensive ends L.J. Collier (ankle) and Ziggy Ansah (shoulder), wide receiver David Moore (fractured humerus) and Amadi were limited in practice.
Moore practiced for the first time since breaking his upper arm bone in August.
Carroll also noted that Iupati will jump back into the starting role at left guard as soon as he's healthy enough to do so, which could be Sunday against the Steelers.
"It's Mike's job," he said. "We feel Mike has earned that and he's going to jump back in. Ethan (Pocic) has done a great job filling in for quite a while now. We're really confident in him playing there so it's a boost to us that we know we have a guy, a couple guys, that can start. We're really anxious to get Mike back in there. He's dying to play and so (we're) looking forward to that."
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 08: Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals passes against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 8, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)