The Seahawks have claimed defensive tackle Garrison Smith off waivers from San Francisco and waived defensive tackle Justin Hamilton to make room for Smith on the 53-man active roster.
The NFL’s official transactions wire from Sunday also showed Seattle also put four players it had waived injured Saturday onto the injured-reserve list: former starting defensive tackle Jordan Hill, outside linebacker Eric Pinkins, offensive tackle Terry Poole and tight end Joe Sommers.
Used to be IR meant the end of those players’ seasons. But a new league rule enacted this year states a team can name any one player on IR as designated to return. Each team gets one such designation per season, and unlike in recent years that player does not have to be designated at the time he’s put on IR.
So Hill becomes a prime candidate for the Seahawks to designate for return, which by NFL rules means to practice six weeks into the regular season and to games in Week 8. Hill was a starter entering training camp, then had a groin injury for much of August. His last known injury came Thursday in the preseason finale at Oakland, after which coach Pete Carroll said Hill had apparently “tweaked” his hamstring. That doesn’t sound like an injury that would keep Hill out for an entire season, but perhaps about half of it.
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The Seahawks may save that IR-designated-to-return chip for a later injury for a more important player. But again, to date, Hill is a prime candidate for it.
Hill is in the final season of his four-year contract he signed in 2013 as Seattle’s third-round draft choice from Penn State.
To get back some depth to that depleted defensive-tackle spot, the Seahawks have added Smith.
At 6 feet 3, 299 pounds, Smith had two sacks this preseason for the 49ers and many saw him as a standout for San Francisco this summer as a nose tackle. That’s the position Brandon Mebane had for nine years with Seattle until March, when he signed as a free agent with San Diego.
Smith is a former Georgia Bulldog. He was an undrafted rookie free agent in 2014 with Miami. He spent 2015 on the 49ers’ practice squad and has yet to play in an NFL regular-season game.
The team can begin forming its 10-man practice squad on Sunday. Already there is news coming out on that: The National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson reported Sunday that wide receiver Kasen Williams was heading onto Seattle’s practice squad.
Williams was one of 19 players the Seahawks waived on Saturday that cleared league waivers and thus either become free agents or, if eligible with low service time, candidates for Seattle’s practice squad. The others: DT Brandin Bryant, TE Clayton Echard, RB/WR George Farmer, WR Antwan Goodley, DE Tylor Harris, QB Jake Heaps, S Keenan Lambert, WR Kenny Lawler, LB Steve Longa, WR Douglas McNeill, WR Uzoma Nwachukwu, LB Kache Palacio, G/C Will Pericak, DB Trovon Reed, DE Ryan Robinson, WR Kevin Smith, CB Tye Smith, former UW DL Taniela Tupou.
The New York Jets claimed running back Troymaine Pope off waivers, so Seattle’s dice roll to get him through waivers and onto its practice squad failed. New York was a 10-win team last season, so he got a ways through waivers (teams get can put in waiver claims in reverse order of league standings from the previous season). Pope is now on the Jets’ 53-man active roster.
The Cleveland Browns claimed defensive back Marcus Burley.