Seahawks Insider Blog

Seahawks sign WR/PR/KR Bryan Walters to active roster, so Earl Thomas may not be returning punts after all

All of you adverse to risk -- at least when it comes to Seattle's All-Pro safety being a standing target for opponents on 40-yard sprints right at him -- rejoice!

The Seahawks have signed back wide receiver/punt returner/kick returner Bryan Walters to their active roster three days after releasing him among their final preseason cuts.

Walters is back on the practice field here at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton right now wearing his familiar No. 19.

The team announced the move about 90 minutes after Pete Carroll was asked during his weekly press conference today here at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton "Is Earl Thomas returning punts?" the Seahawks' coach responded with two words.

"Yeah, yeah."

It wasn't exactly a convincing or unequivocal response about his All-Pro safety.

Walters returned every punt and kickoff for the Seahawks last week in their exhibition finale at Oakland, and he was fearless to the point of being reckless returning punts and badly bruising ribs in exhibition games last month.

The result for now is what every coach loves: Uncertainty with his opponent over who will play what in the upcoming game. At this point I would be surprised if Thomas returns all of Green Bay's punts -- or even the first one -- Thursday night. After all, why sign Walters to the active roster to just stand on the sidelines as the seventh wide receiver?

“We really trust in him and believe in him,” Carroll said of Walters last week immediately after the Oakland game. “He’s a really good ballplayer.”

My guess on why the Seahawks cut the more versatile and thus valuable Walters and kept Bates in the first place (the most surprising move of Seattle's preseason) , only to sign him onto the active roster three days later: Perhaps the Seahawks feel they can now get Bates through waivers and onto their practice squad more easily than they could have Walters. When Walters couldn’t get a deal anywhere else onto an active roster since Saturday, he signed back with the Seahawks. That's just a guess. I'll keep digging into that one.

UPDATED, post-practice:

--WR Percy Harvin practiced for the second consecutive day after missing three days with what Carroll said was a personal matter. Harvin played in just one regular-season game last season after a significant hip injury. “It feels tremendously good right now,” he said. “I’m blessed to be healthy.”

--The Seahawks’ official practice report to the league Monday: Did not participate: TE Cooper Helfet (knee), RB Christine Michael (hamstring), C Lemuel Jeanpierre (neck), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (hamstring), CB Tharold Simon (knee). Limited participation: CB Jeremy Lane (groin), LB Bruce Irvin (hip surgery), WR Kevin Norwood (listed as an ankle injury, coming off surgery last month for a bone spur in his foot).

--Carroll said he was “hopeful” Lane, the fifth, “nickel” defensive back on long-yardage plays, will play against the Packers. If not, CB DeShawn Shead could see time.

--The coach also used “hopeful” to describe the prospects of Irvin and Norwood playing.

--Carroll said Michael, who missed the exhibition finale after tweaking his hamstring in practice, "is banged up. We’ll figure it out later in the week.”

--Rookie DE Cassius Marsh practiced after hurting his hip flexor at Oakland. Carroll said he is in “good shape.”

--The Seahawks’ practice squad is now at a full 10 after two more signings: DE Julius Warmsley and DB Josh Aubrey.