RENTON -- Quandre Diggs was enjoying his off-day in Detroit and taking a nap with his three-month old daughter, Ariya Marie, on Tuesday when his phone starting buzzing repeatedly.
Diggs' agent, David Mulugheta, finally reached him to tell him he was being traded by the Lions to the Seattle Seahawks.
I was blindsided by it honestly," Diggs said ahead of his first practice with the Seahawks on Wednesday.
"It was crazy. Spending the day with my daughter and my girlfriend and you get news like that, of course, is major for the family. It's work. It's part of it. I'm here now. I'm excited. I'm going to miss my guys in Detroit but I got new relationships that I've got to build here."
While it is a foreign locker room for Diggs, he's got plenty of connections with the Seahawks to help smooth his transition. Wide receiver Tyler Lockett called Diggs his best friend after the two struck up a relationship through their agency. Practice squad safety Adrian Colbert was a teammate of Diggs at the University of Texas before transferring to the University of Miami. Tight end Luke Willson, defensive end Ziggy Ansah and fullback Nick Bellore all were teammates with Diggs in Detroit.
"Tyler was the first person I called as soon as I found the news out," Diggs said. "It was just like... we talked about this before. We spoken about if we could be teammates and just having this opportunity to be around these guys. It's a great team here, great organization. I just like to be around great people with great vibes."
"I had to let my guy know first. I had to let him know. Adrian Colbert, I had to let him know. That's like a little brother to me. It's dope to be around familiar people, people that I know I can trust and just go about my business with going to work."
Diggs will play both free and strong safety for Seattle once he gets up to speed. He also has past experience at nickel cornerback as well and give the Seahawks numerous options in their defensive backfield. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said that Diggs is a guy that he has personally had an eye on for a while and was thrilled he became available to them.
"He's an explosive player," Carroll said. I've watched him for years be the kind of guy that throws his body around as well as you can do it. He's a real hitter and a play-maker. He's played a lot of situations, played nickel, he's played a lot of coverage on key tight ends and key matchups, They've used him in a number of different ways, a big variety of background that I just think he's been a unique player. He's one of those guys that I've seen for a long time and have liked for a long time and really feel lucky to get him."
Carroll said the primary reason for wanting to add Diggs was the current injury situation Seattle has at the safety position. Lano Hill is set to miss a few weeks while recovering from an elbow injury. Meanwhile, starter Bradley McDougald still has yet to get beyond back spasms that surfaced over a week ago. McDougald was again unable to practice on Wednesday as the issue continues to linger.
"The fact that Lano was out for a bit and that we haven't been able to get Bradley back in there, we got pretty thin really fast," Carroll said. "A rare opportunity to get an experienced player who can fit a lot of roles. It gives us real flexibility so we had to do it and I think John [Schneider] made a great move to get this done."
Carroll said the move wasn't made in response to the play of Tedric Thompson, who has allowed two balls over his head this season for gains of at least 50 yards.
"No. No, it’s the guys that are banged up that I’m concerned about and not knowing when they can get back was really at hand," Carroll said.
Nevertheless, it's hard not to put the two together. Carroll was pointed in his comments about the 50-yard pass from Lamar Jackson to Miles Boykin on Sunday that got over Thompson on the fourth play of the game. Additionally, Diggs is under contract for another two seasons beyond 2019 and is set to make just shy of $11 million over that span. The Seahawks aren't bringing Diggs in to be a spare piece.
"At this level, it's about game day performance. It's about making plays. Everybody understands the situation," defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said.
Colbert said that he expects Diggs to quickly pick up Seattle's defense and sees no issue for him to be ready to play in short order.
"He's going to learn this playbook in a week," Colbert said. "It's a simple defense. It allows you to go out there and play fast and that's what he does. He's going to learn this defense and then he's going to be able to learn offenses and ways offenses attack this defense and be a big play-maker in this defense. I believe that 100 percent."
Diggs is 5-foot-9, 197 pounds and was a sixth-round pick of the Lions out of the University of Texas in 2015. Diggs has played in 65 games for Detroit with 40 starts in his five years with the team. He has a total of 235 tackles with six interceptions, three forced fumbles, 24 passes defended and a sack.
Diggs was a Pro Bowl alternate for the Lions last season. Diggs started all 16 games for Detroit, recording 78 tackles with three interceptions and eight passes defended. He appeared in five games this season for the Lions but missed a game and most of another due to a hamstring injury that saw him limited in his first practice in Seattle as well. He did play on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings despite the injury.
"I’m versatile. I play down in the box, I play nickel, I play strong, I play free, I play some linebacker, I played it all," Diggs said. "So, at the end of the day I just want to go in, lock in, be able to play football and be ready to go.
"I’m jumping in when these guys are trying to game plan for big time opponents like we have this weekend. So, it’s going to be on the run and it’s my job to put in the work and put in the effort to get better and also learn this system.”
The Seahawks waived guard Jordan Roos to open a roster spot for Diggs addition to the team.
-- Safety Bradley McDougald is still uncertain to be available this week due to ongoing issues with back spasms.
"I don’t know that yet. He’s not practicing today. That’s all I can tell you today. I can’t tell you, I don’t know," Carroll said.
-- Left tackle Duane Brown was limited in practice on Wednesday and has a chance to get back this week after missing two games with a biceps injury.
"I’m listening to what Duane [Brown] is saying, and I know what the doctors are saying so, we’ll see what happens. They’re a little more cautious, he’s aggressive and wanting to go for it. If he can, he’s going to be on the field on Wednesday. We’ll see what happens. We may have to protect him from himself in this regard."
Brown's return would allow George Fant to move back to his role as an extra tight end.
“It’s a big deal to us," Carroll said. "It’s really a big deal. If we get that done, I think George is such a unique guy at that position that that’s a really important thing for us if we can get it. We’ve missed him for a couple weeks now."
-- Tight end Ed Dickson has a chance to return to practice next week for the Seahawks and Carroll was optimistic about his chances to play in next week's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"Ed is working really well," Carroll said. "He’s going to come back next week. I think next week is his first chance back. He’s practicing next week. He’s practicing next week. Based on what I’m seeing, he’s going to be practicing to play. That’s pretty optimistic right now. I’ve watched his workouts a number of times in the last couple weeks He’s working hard, and he has a chance. He has a chance to come back in that week and help us some. We’ll see what happens. He’s pretty hopeful. He looks good.”
Dickson is currently eligible to be practicing after missing the first six weeks on injured reserve should Seattle name him as one of their two return from injured reserve designations. He is not eligible to play until after this week's game against the Atlanta Falcons. The Seahawks do not appear inclined to do so at the moment.
-- Guard Phil Haynes is facing a couple important days for the Seahawks to decide if they want to add him to their active roster next week.
"These two days, today and tomorrow, are huge for him to show us where he is and whether he’s ready to come back for us next week," Carroll said. We’re going to try to max out the two weeks before we make that decision.”
Haynes has missed the first seven games with on the physically unable to perform list following offseason sports hernia surgery.
Photo Credit: PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 22: Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs with the ball and is hit by Quandre Diggs #28 of the Detroit Lions in the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 22, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)