Seahawks Insider Blog

Hey, "next man up!" Time for you again; Seahawks put TE Zach Miller on injured reserve

Since it's another day, must be another Seahawks veteran starter going on injured reserve.

The epidemic of losses and the need for fill-ins to step up continued today with Pete Carroll announcing tight end Zach Miller is now on the season-ending injured-reserve list and needs a second surgery on his ankle because he is not recovering from the first procedure in September.

Monday, run-stuffing defensive tackle Brandon Mebane went on IR with a torn hamstring. Carroll clarified in the start of the video above that the eight-year veteran tore the muscle "drastically," but that for now the Seahawks don't think it will affect Mebane's ability to play in 2015.

Carroll agrees with the notion from my previous blog post that Kevin Williams should be fresher now than he's been in any of his previous 11 seasons. The coach noted by now the five-time All-Pro with the Minnesota Vikings usually has 500-plus snaps through nine games. Williams has 238 snaps on defense through nine games in his Seahawks debut season.

"It's definitely easier to walk during the week," Williams, 34, joked about so far being on pace for almost 300 fewer snaps than he had last season in Minnesota -- though that pace is about to increase for him starting Sunday at run-heavy Kansas City.

As for what's left behind Miller, recent fill-in starter Luke Willson says he's not all the way back from the ankle he sprained last weekend during the win against the Giants but he and Carroll are pleased by his progress. Cooper Helfet's sore knee is also improving. And Carroll reiterated Tony Moeaki, the former Chiefs starter Seattle signed last week, needs to be ready for a large role Sunday at Kansas City in what would be his Seahawks debut.

--Seattle filled its roster spot vacated by Miller going on IR with linebacker Allen Bradford, who will have a prominent role in special teams. Bradford, most recently released by the Browns after being on the Seahawks' practice squad for brief time in early September, was at home in Cleveland having just returned from a trip to Toys R Us with his daughter last night when he got the call Seattle was signing him to its active roster. He was on a 6 a.m. flight today from Ohio that landed at SeaTac Airport at 10 a.m. By 1:25 he was on the practice field here in Renton.

"It feels like home," said Bradford, who was on Seattle's roster for one week early last season, too. "I love being here. There's not another place like it. It's like a family here, really a family."

--Another reason Bradford is here: Undrafted middle linebacker Brock Coyle is "banged up," to use Carroll's unscientific term. Carroll praised Coyle for playing last week against the Giants while injured -- the latest in a pile of accolades from coaches this season for the former captain of the Montana Grizzlies.

Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner is on the field today doing change-of-direction drills, and Carroll said his key to the center of the defense may play next week at home against Arizona. Wagner has been out since getting a turf-toe ligament injury during the loss to Dallas five games ago.

Outside linebacker Malcolm Smith is back practicing today. He has missed the last two games with a groin injury. If he can play against the Chiefs, K.J. Wright may start at middle linebacker as he did at St. Louis and Carolina last month with Irvin, Smith and emerging rookie Kevin Pierre-Louis outside.

--Fullback Will Tukuafu said he's been practicing on the defensive line since the former 49er signed with Seattle two weeks ago. He played defensive end and tackle for San Francisco.

"End. Tackle. Whatever," Tukuafu said when asked what he think he could play for the Seahawks.

So consider him another option in the defensive-line rotation.

--The Seahawks released LB L.J. Fort from practice squad. They placed RB Demitrius Bronson from Kent and DE Julius Warmsley on practice squad IR, ending their season. They signed to their practice squad fullback Stanley Havili, defensive end Ryan Robinson, running back Cierre Wood.

Seattle now has five former USC players who were there when Carroll was the Trojans' coach: LBs Mike Morgan, Smith and Bradford plus Havili (practice squad) and safety Dion Bailey (practice squad).

--Carroll on the report by Fox Sports the Seahawks reached out to out-of-football wide receiver Randy Moss: "Thanks for asking that. That never happened.

"Won't say I didn't get a call from T.O., though," Carroll added, with a grin.