RENTON -- In a somewhat surprising move on Wednesday, the Seahawks placed starting free safety Tedric Thompson on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury that requires surgery.
"He needs labrum surgery. He's had a shoulder that's been bothering him for some time and we're going to get him fixed up," Carroll said. "It's been a while. He's been really toughing it out for a good while. He's been an integral part of our stuff and a really good teammate. We love the guy and hate that he's not going to get to play, but we've got to fix him up."
"It's bothered him that much that we need to fix it. He's been making it through it and he can't keep it going."
That revelation is surprising because Thompson played all 76 defensive snaps in last Sunday's win over the Atlanta Falcons. Also, Carroll said it's an injury Thompson has been dealing with for a while and yet he never appeared on the injury report because of the injury this season. When Thompson missed two starts earlier this season those absences were because of a strained hamstring.
"Last year or something like that he had something that he was concerned about and this week it went so we have to fix him up," Carroll said when asked about the lack of Thompson's appearance on the injury reports.
Carroll was asked about Thompson's performance on Monday and gave no indication at the time that his season could be over at that point.
"He played well yesterday, did a nice job. It’s competitive, it’s competitive. We’ve got guys who want to play, guys who are capable of playing. I’d like to see them all get better," he said.
Regardless of the circumstances, the Seahawks now need a new starting free safety. With Bradley McDougald set to return to the lineup this week after being sidelined with back spasms the past two games, rookie Marquise Blair appears set to take over as a full-time starter.
"He’s never shown anything but play making, a style about the way he runs and attacks the ball and all that," Carroll said of Blair. "There’s no surprise in what’s going on. It just takes time. Now, we’ve kind of forced the issue and he’s had a couple starts now and he’s ready to go. He’s ready to be out there competing.”
Recently acquired safety Quandre Diggs will eventually factor into the discussion as well. However, a hamstring injury Diggs sustained with the Detroit Lions has kept him from being full speed upon his arrival in Seattle.
"I’m going to go with him all the way until the weekend here," Carroll said. "We’ve got to get him out to the practice field before we can give him a chance. It’s going to be a long shot for him to make it this week.”
The Seahawks will remain somewhat short-handed at safety in the interim until Diggs can get up to speed. Lano Hill will miss another game this weekend due to an elbow injury that happened against the Cleveland Browns. With Thompson now gone it leaves only rookie Ugo Amadi and, perhaps, Diggs in an emergency role to backup at safety this weekend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Adrian Colbert could be added from the practice squad for additional depth if the team feels it's necessary.
The Seahawks signed defensive end Dekoda Watson to take Thompson's place on the roster. Watson has appeared in 108 games in his career since being selected in the seventh-round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Watson has played for the Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers. He was released by Denver late in training camp in August.
The Seahawks designated tight end Ed Dickson to return from injured reserve on Wedndsday, which allowed the veteran to return to practice for the first time since August. Dickson takes one of Seattle's two return designations for the year. Thompson is eligible to return for the playoffs as he will be required to miss the final eight games of the regular season. However, the Seahawks may elect to use their second return designation on backup center/guard Ethan Pocic instead in mid-December. Thompson and Pocic are the two candidates that would be available for the second injured reserve return spot.
Joey Hunt preparing to start, Jordan Roos to take over as backup at center:
With Justin Britt placed on injured reserve on Tuesday with a torn left ACL, Joey Hunt officially moves into the role of starting center for the Seahawks.
Hunt has made two career starts at the position for Seattle in place of Britt since being drafted in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Hunt will face an immediate test from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend. Former University of Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea has become one of the league's top run stoppers and has a considerable size advantage over the 6-foot-2, 299-pound Hunt. Throw in Ndamukong Suh as well and Hunt will be put to the test this Sunday.
"I’m not concerned about him at all," Carroll said. "Joey’s been with us for a long time. He’s been in games for us over the years. He’s started a few games. He has done as well as somebody can do in this role of being the backup guy to give us the confidence that he can handle it. We’ve just seen him play so consistently in practice and the work he’s done. He’s never backed off of reassuring us that he’s ready to go. He’s a really good technician. He’s really strong underneath. He’s got great leverage he plays [with] and he knows how to play the position. It’s his time for him and I’m not worried about it one bit. It wouldn’t matter who is playing center with Vita Vea over there on the other side. He’s a remarkable player. We’ll give him a lot of respect."
Meanwhile, the Seahawks promoted Jordan Roos from the practice squad to take over Hunt's previous role as backup center.
Roos has never played center before. Much like Jamarco Jones getting a chance at right guard having never played anything but tackle until a few weeks ago, Roos may be needed to play at a position he never has in the future. Carroll said that Roos has been working at center throughout the season and represents their best option at the moment for the spot.
"Roos is the backup center. He's been working at it for a long time, been preparing for it," Carroll said.
"We started him in earnest 6-8 weeks ago or something like that. Roos has been with us for a long time and knows our system really well. One of the great attributes that Joey brings us is his smarts and his ability to control everything. Roos is really the farthest along in that regard. He'll do the best job right now.
Kyle Fuller remains on their practice squad for the time being. Fuller was a center in college at Baylor and has played both guard and center in the NFL during his stops with the Houston Texans, Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins. But Carroll said it was Roos experience with Seattle's system that makes him the best choice at the moment.
"Kyle will be competing for the spot too though," Carroll said. Because of his background - he played four years at Baylor and has taken a ton of snaps - that really helps him in terms of the competition. But right now it's more important that we're making our calls and everybody is complemented with what's going on and we know what we're doing so that's why we're there."
Roos took some snaps at center last year in practice when Hunt was dealing with injuries. However, the focus on getting up to speed at the position didn't truly begin until this year. Roos said he's ready to go should the need arise.
"It changes a few things but you've just got to get in there, make the call, make sure everybody is on the same page. So, I'm pretty confident," Roos said.
"It's a learning process as we go but we're all football players and as you go through this process you have to learn that you have to be able to play multiple positions. I just feel I'm confident and ready to go. I've taken a ton of snaps with the scout team looks that I've been given and so I'm confident."
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)