Seattle Seahawks

Former practice-squader Daniels may play surprise NFC Championship role for Seahawks

Maybe it is a bit of gamesmanship on coach Pete Carroll’s part, or maybe — just maybe — the Seahawks coach wants to stir up one of the electrifying moments from a previous NFC Championship game.

After wide receiver Paul Richardson was put on injured reserve with a season-ending knee injury, Carroll announced Monday that second-year quarterback B.J. Daniels would be promoted from the Seahawks’ practice squad. It will be the first time in Daniels’ career on an active NFL roster.

The move also leaves the team with three active quarterbacks for this weekend’s NFC Championship game against Green Bay at CenturyLink Field.

Carroll has mentioned throughout the week that Daniels can play positions other than quarterback. In practice, he has lined up at tailback, receiver, cornerback and safety, and has been returning punts and kickoffs for some time now.

“All of that has just given him an opportunity to show us how valuable he is to us, so we’re really excited about that,” Carroll said.

“In this game, he’s going to be a special teams guy if he’s in there. We could play him at quarterback if we needed. And if we had to spot him in there, he could be an emergency running back — and he can play the zebra spots for the receivers.

“That is a lot of stuff.”

The feeling is that Carroll is using the transaction as a smoke screen — to give the Packers something else to worry about or game plan for.

But if Carroll wants to get bold and utilize the 5-foot-1, 217-pound Daniels in different parts of the game plan, it could end up having the same rousing effect as when former coach Mike Holmgren unleashed quarterback Seneca Wallace at receiver in the 2005 NFC Championship Game.

Wallace caught a 28-yard pass from Matt Hasselbeck early in the Seahawks’ 34-14 victory over Carolina that set up their first Super Bowl trip.

As far as what Daniels expects, he said Wednesday he has no idea what his role will be come Sunday against Green Bay.

“My biggest thing is to help the Seahawks win,” Daniels said. “I do what they ask me to do.”

Daniels did make a point to say that in football games, dating back to his junior high days, at Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, Florida, and at South Florida in college, he has never done anything but play quarterback.

He was drafted in the seventh round by San Francisco in 2013. He said the 49ers had talked to him about playing another position, but that never transpired on the field.

Daniels was eventually waived by the 49ers five weeks into the season, claimed and let go by the Seahawks before eventually being signed by Seattle to its practice squad for the remainder of that season.

If he plays in his first career game Sunday on special teams — as a returner or on the coverage team — his teammates feel he can be an impact player.

“Covering kicks is all about will … and want-to,” said receiver Ricardo Lockette, who is also the team’s special-team ace as a gunner. “He has that, for sure.”

LOCKETTE’S REPUTATION

Carroll said rookie Kevin Norwood, veteran Ricardo Lockette and recent practice-squad promotion Chris Matthews will share the No. 3 wide receiver role that’s open now rookie Paul Richardson is having reconstructive knee surgery Thursday.

Norwood and Lockette were obviously next in line. But Matthews may be gaining more prominence this week because of how tall he is. The former Canadian League player is 6 feet 5 and no Packer starting defensive back or nickleback is taller than 6-1.

Lockette got flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct last weekend by flipping a ball into the face of a Carolina defender after his catch and run. That put the Seahawks out of field goal range.

In November at Kansas City, in Seattle’s last loss, Lockette was ejected for slapping the facemask of a Chief on the sideline following a play.

A month before in St. Louis, he got a personal foul for obliterating a Rams punt returner as the first Seahawks downfield — well after a fair catch was signaled and executed.

Is he worried he’s getting a reputation for hot-headed or extra-curricular play?

“Not really. I don’t really think about that,” Lockette said. “We just think about the plays, and let the chips fall where they may. Once it is gone, it is gone.”

But not forgotten.

BRITT, McDANIEL NEW INJURY-LIST ADDITIONS

Rookie right tackle Justin Britt (knee) and veteran defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (shoulder) did not practice with newly listed ailments. But there are still four days until Sunday’s NFC championship game.

Center Max Unger was full go. Carroll said he’s on track to start Sunday against Green Bay. He missed six games with a high-ankle sprain, came back last weekend, then got the same ankle rolled on by a Panthers player late in the game and missed the final snaps. He’s fine now, though, after what for him and the team had been a scare.

Defensive end Michael Bennett and running back Marshawn Lynch got their customary “not injury related” designation — a euphemism for “veteran rest.”

Reserve safety Jeron Johnson is back for special-teams work after missing last weekend. He got hurt in the regular-season finale Dec. 28 against St. Louis.

EXTRA POINTS

Seahawks DE Michael Bennett to a Seattle radio person asking about the Packers’ RB: “(Eddie) Lacy’s kind of built like you, a slightly bit overweight.” … Atlanta, Chicago and Denver still have head coach openings. The Falcons may be willing to wait until after the Seahawks’ season ends for offensive coordinator Darrell Quinn, who they really like. And the Broncos only started their search Wednesday, the day after John Fox left the head job. They may be willing to wait for architect of the defense that throttled them 43-8 111/2 months ago in the Super Bowl.

  Comments