RENTON -- After a 32-28 win on the road in Cleveland against the Browns on Sunday, the Seahawks are set to see some changes to their roster in the near future.
Tight end Will Dissly is out for the season after injuring his left Achilles in the second quarter of the win in Cleveland. Defensive tackle Jarran Reed is set to return from a six-game suspension this week. The Seahawks will likely need an additional tight end to help cover the loss of Dissly, Rookie guard Phil Haynes and rookie defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas are each expected to return to practice from the physically unable to perform list as well as they prepare to return to the roster, potentially, in the coming weeks.
It leaves a 5-1 Seahawks team in a little stage of flux.
“Really unfortunate that we lose Will Dissly," head coach Pete Carroll said. "He’s been a fantastic part of our team. He’s just a young guy, but he’s made a big impression early on all of us and we’re going to miss the heck out of him as he recovers from an Achilles injury."
Dissly went down in the end zone on his only target of the game with a non-contact injury. He was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game and it became immediately apparent the severity of his injury.
"His attitude was incredible," Carroll said of his conversation with Dissly after the game. "He’s talking about 2020 already and ‘you can count on me and I can’t get to get working.’ I mean, just an amazing attitude. It was the attitude that took him through the past rehab. You hate to get good at something like that but he’s prepared to take this on and he’ll do a fantastic job and will beat all of the time frames that he’s faced with and will do a great job returning."
In the meantime, the Seahawks need some help at tight end. George Fant is still likely to be unavailable to play the extra tight end role as he's needed at left tackle with Duane Brown out. Luke Willson and Jacob Hollister are the only two tight ends currently on the roster. Backup center Joey Hunt handle Fant's usual role as a jumbo tight end against the Browns.
Wes Saxton and Jackson Harris were with the team in training camp and remain free agents. Either one could be a potential option to help out in the short-term.
Ed Dickson remains on the injured reserve as he works back from knee surgery during training camp. Dickson is ineligible to play until Week 8, but could return to practice beginning this week if the Seahawks designated him as one of their two returnees from injured reserve. That doesn't currently seem to be the plan.
"Well he’s still got a couple weeks yet before he can come back," Carroll said. He’s working really hard. He’s doing everything. He’s running and lifting and doing all that, all that he’s allowed to do. What will be telling is when he finally can come back on the field, can he do the football moves and the football regimen and respond and be OK with that. He’s working to get ready right now so we’re very fortunate to have a chance to have a guy like Ed come back to us with not too much of a space in there without Will."
Carroll seemed to imply a belief that Dickson could not return to practice for another two weeks. After double checking with the league office, a player can indeed return to practice after six weeks and practice for two weeks before being eligible to return to the roster. The Oakland Raiders designated cornerback Isaiah Johnson to return from their injured reserve list and he returned to practice with the team on Monday.
One player who can definitively return this week is Jarran Reed.
Reed was back in the building on Monday after completing a six-game suspension for a personal conduct policy violation. Carroll said he expects Reed to play this week, though exactly how much is yet to be determined.
"He’s been such an integral part of our club," Carroll said. "It’s great to have him back in the locker room and his play is exceptional too. I don’t know what to tell you about how it’s going to go. I haven’t seen him on the field yet. I know he worked really hard from everything he said to stay abreast of his conditioning and all of that. He looks good and strong and all and we’ll just have to wait and see how he handles it."
Reed is on a one-week roster exemption so he can practice but not count against the team's active roster. He will need to be added to the 53-man roster by Saturday afternoon in order to play this week, but that move will likely come at the end of the week.
Haynes and Christmas have been on the PUP list since the start of training camp and will have the next three weeks to practice before they, too, would need to be added to the roster.
"Both those guys really worked out together in rehab and both those guys have been prepared to come back much sooner than this deadline so they’re in good shape, but again they haven’t worked with us at all so we don’t know," Carroll said.
Haynes would seem to be on a fast-track to the active roster. With Ethan Pocic heading to injured reserve and Duane Brown and D.J. Fluker still dealing with injuries, Haynes has a clear role to fill on the roster. Christmas has a less certain role to fill, but injuries could change the complexion of the roster at any moment.
Pocic will be on injured reserve for eight weeks before he would become eligible to return as well.
"He had a pretty serious injury that he was fighting back from and he was committed to playing through it and all that but he still had some soreness and still had some difficulties so we just thought it would be the best thing for him to get him well and then we can get him back in the third part of the season," Carroll said.
-- Duane Brown appears likely to miss another week due to a biceps injury that initially happened against the New Orleans Saints. The issue worsened through the Thursday night win over the Los Angeles Rams and forced him to miss Sunday's game in Cleveland.
"It’s a day-to-day thing for us right now," Carroll said. "It’s a race to see if we can get him back (this week). We thought it might be two weeks if it didn’t go quicker than that so we’ll see. If he doesn’t make it this week, he should be in great shape to come back next week."
D.J. Fluker is also day-to-day due to a hamstring strain that forced him to miss the Browns game. If they cannot play, George Fant will likely remain in the lineup at left tackle with Jamarco Jones at right guard.
"Jamarco did another nice job," Carroll said. "He was very consistent again and held up his end. That’s two really great showings for him. He did a fine job for us. George did a really nice job in the running game. Had a couple opportunities in the pass game he would like to clean up some of his sets, but pretty typical for a first time out starter against good guys. He did a good job though. We really were able to maintain the style of play and everything with those guys out there.
"If nothing else happened, that’s likely the way we would go."
-- Running back Rashaad Penny is expected to be full speed at practice this week after missing Sunday's game with a nagging hamstring strain.
"We’ll find out during the week," Carroll said. "He finished up the week in pretty good shape but we wanted to make sure we got through the week and put it behind him through the weekend and here we go again. I think he’ll be going full speed Wednesday.
Photo Credit: CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 13: Tedric Thompson #33 of the Seattle Seahawks intercepts a pass that was intended for Jarvis Landry #80 of the Cleveland Browns during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 13, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)