Apparently that punt fill-in returner Doug Baldwin fielded at his own 3-yard line last week got Bryan Walters his job back with his hometown team.
Days after releasing him so they go add to a desperately thin secondary for the Oakland game, the Seahawks have re-signed Walters, the wide receiver and kick returner from Kirkland. The only reason Walters had been on the roster since Week 2 until last weekend was to return punts and kickoffs. He replaced All-Pro safety Earl Thomas on punts and then traded Percy Harvin on kickoffs.
Rookie wide receiver Paul Richardson has been the kickoff returner the last two weeks, and he ran one back 47 yards two weeks ago to set up Seattle's only score of the first half. So that job appears to be his.
But punt returns appear to be Walters' job again. It's not that the Seahawks are counting on Walters to make game-breaking returns -- he is averaging only 9.1 yards per return on 12 run backs with eight fair catches this season. It's that coach Pete Carroll trusts Walters to not fumble; Walters has fumbled twice in his life on returns, in the preseason finale at Oakland in August on a kickoff and once at Cornell when he wore long sleeves in the cold for the last time. And Carroll trusts Walters to make good decisions. Like not fielding a punt on the 3-yard line.
Never miss a local story.
Carroll values possession of the punt more than yards gained on the return.
Seattle also signed free-agent tight end Tony Moeaki, who had reached an injury settlement with Buffalo last month. That is an indicator starting tight end Zach Miller isn't returning any time soon from his ankle surgery that has cost him four games and will leave him out of Sunday's game against the New York Giants.
To make room for them on the 53-man active roster, the Seahawks released recently signed linebacker L.J. Fort and waived safety Terrance Parks with an injury settlement after he was on the active roster for all of three days.
The 6-foot-3, 252-pound Moeaki was Kansas City's third-round draft choice in 2010. He flourished as a rookie with the Chiefs with 47 catches as a starter, and had 33 for them in 2012. He missed 2011 with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. He was active for two games for Buffalo last season and got an injury settlement from the Bills in October after a hamstring injury. That made him a free agent.
The Seahawks also made transactions on and off their practice squad, releasing tight end Brett Brackett and wide receiver Chris Matthews from that and adding to it safety Dion Bailey and wide receiver Jalen Saunders.
The team also announced rookie cornerback Eric Pinkins will remain on the reserve/non-football injury list. So his season is over. Seattle had to activate Pinkins off the NFI list by this week for him to be able to play.
The Seahawks may be making another roster move this week. Nickel back Jeremy Lane is eligible to play for the first time since the opener after eight weeks on the IR list with a designation to return. If they think Lane is recovered enough from his groin strain to play against the Giants, someone will have to be released from the 53-man roster to make room for Lane.