Good thing for the Seahawks Tedric Thompson is back.
On the same day their starting safety returned to practice from an ankle injury that kept Thompson out of last weekend’s regular-season finale, the team put safety Delano Hill on injured reserve.
The Seahawks’ medical staff found a non-displaced fracture of Hill’s hip following his start against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday.
“He was playing his best game,” Carroll said of Hill. “Hits well, tackling, pressuring, all kinds of good stuff. Very, very bright future for him. This will set him back for a while but not something he can’t recover from. We’re fortunate that Tedric Thompson is coming back.”
Hill, Seattle’s 2017 third-round draft choice, was the starting strong safety with Bradley McDougald moving to free safety against the Cardinals. Hill has also been the sixth, “dime” defensive back for the defense in obvious passing situations this season.
Hill was one of four Seahawks, along with Bobby Wagner, Tre Flowers and McDougald, to play all 66 defensive snaps against the Cardinals. Combine that with his 11 special teams snaps and he was on the field more than any player on Sunday.
Carroll was coy on how that sixth defensive back may be now. Neiko Thorpe is one option.
Thompson is back after missing the last two games, the first against Kansas City with swelling in his chest. His return for the wild-card playoff game Saturday night at Dallas means McDougald can go back to the strong-safety spot he prefers.
In Hill’s place, the Seahawks added rookie wide receiver Malik Turner to the active roster. Marwin Evans, a safety who spent the past two years with the Packers, was added to the practice squad.
Sweezy, Fluker status
D.J. Fluker is back, Carroll said. So that’s one starter returning to the Seahawks’ offensive line that allowed a season-high six sacks of quarterback Russell Wilson in Sunday’s regular-season finale.
How about J.R. Sweezy?
Carroll said on 710-ESPN radio on Monday that they’re hoping Sweezy recovers from an injury that should keep him out 3-4 weeks in a two-week time frame and he added Tuesday that Sweezy should be a game time decision. Sweezy didn’t practice Tuesday.
Carroll also said that Sweezy is out of his walking boot. He sprained his foot arch on Dec. 23 against the Kansas City Chiefs and that had the Seahawks seeking opinions nationally on how to treat what Carroll last week called an “unusual injury” to the Pro Bowl alternate.
“Sweezy is getting around pretty good,” Carroll said Tuesday. “We’ll have to see how he’s doing come game time, but he’s getting around OK. He’s very positive he can make it back. We won’t know, though.”
If he can return, that would put the Seahawks’ offensive line back at full strength with Fluker at right guard, Sweezy at left and Germain Ifedi able to slide back to right tackle, with Justin Britt at center and Duane Brown at left tackle. Brown also sat out Tuesday’s practice with a knee issue.
They struggled without Sweezy and Fluker on Sunday, outside of a season-long 61-yard run from Chris Carson to get him to 122 total rushing yards.
“We missed some communications and things we would have liked to have seen that normally we could count on getting done,” Carroll said. “It was good seeing guys back at it today and it’s nice to have Fluke back out.”
Starting cornerback Shaquill Griffin did not practice two days after he twisted his ankle in the first half of the win over Arizona and did not return.
Carroll said the Seahawks expect Griffin to “do something” on the practice field Thursday.
“He’s OK,” the coach said. “He’s talking real positive.”
In the meantime, Akeem King continues to fill in at left cornerback.
Coordinator to coach?
Former Seahawks’ defensive coordinator and secondary coach Kris Richard has been linked as a head coaching candidate with several teams, namely the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins.
Richard is now the Cowboys’ first-year defensive coordinator, so Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was asked in a conference call with Seattle-area reporters on Tuesday about his philosophy on assistants interviewing elsewhere.
“If they have a chance to interview for a head-coaching position, I was in that position a number of years ago,” said Garrett, the Cowboys’ former offensive coordinator before he was named interim coach in 2010 and then had the interim tag removed shortly after.
“The biggest thing you have to do is you have to focus on what your job is right now and do that to the best of your ability. And if the logistics work out and you can interview with another team in and around your playoff games, you go ahead and figure that out. But your focus has to be on what you’re doing and typically people who are interviewing you when you involved in the playoffs understand that. To me, it’s more impressive to them when you do have that kind of focus because that’s the guy you’re getting if they do, in fact, hire you.
“Kris is fantastic in terms of that. He’s focused on what we need to do each day to become a better team.”
Richard reportedly interviewed for the Colts’ head job last year before the Seahawks fired him after the season. Seattle later brought Ken Norton Jr. back to be their defensive coordinator.
Other players who didn’t practice on Tuesday for the Seahawks: Doug Baldwin (knee), Mike Davis (foot), Tre Madden (hamstring), Bradley McDougald (knee) and Chris Carson (not injury related). … Carroll didn’t seem so concerned about special teams issues against the Cardinals on Sunday that included two blocked punts. “It’s fixable stuff,” he said. “Really disappointed that that happened, but it’s fixable stuff. Just a little negligent, technique-wise, and (the Cardinals) did a nice job of coming after it, but really stuff that should not happen at all.” … Garrett was asked if he still keeps in touch with Tacoma native and former Seahawks and Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna, who is now coaching high school football at Phoenix Brophy Prep in Arizona after leaving his alma mater Lincoln. “I text back and forth with Kitna,” Garrett said. “He’s one of my all-time favorite people. I love him.” … Garrett, the Cowboys’ quarterback from 1993-99, was asked how Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner might compare to some of the top tacklers he played against. He brought up Ray Lewis and his former teammate, current Seahawks defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. “(Wagner) is an outstanding football player, a great tackler and ranks up there with any of the guys certainly playing today.”