The Seahawks made their first roster transaction since October 2nd, which seems like an eternity ago, placing an Ben Obomanu on the injured reserve with a wrist injury and promoting Jermaine Kearse to the active roster. Kearse is a UDFA that caught on with the Seahawks in training camp and impressed enough to earn himself a spot on the practice squad this season. In many ways, he's like Ben Obomanu as a prospect - not the fastest guy in the world, but solid in many areas - route running, blocking, etc.
I said it prior to the season, but one of the reasons I think Seattle liked Kearse was that he was one of the top 'touchdown makers' for Sarkisian's Huskies and really did make a lot of plays for them. Kearse has a reputation for bad hands and he angered Husky fans for drops in his time at UW, but he's strong after the catch and has some physicality to him at 6'2, 210 that makes him an intriguing prospect.
He'll not likely see much time on the field but he becomes an emergency option for the Seahawks, who have but three healthy wide receivers at the moment - Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, and Charly Martin. Braylon Edwards and Doug Baldwin are fighting injuries at the moment so Seattle was forced to make a move at receiver. I also suspect that we may see Evan Moore get more snaps/looks in the coming week or two with the depth issue at receiver.
In addition to this move, the Seahawks also released CB Danny Gorrer and promoted T Mike Person to the active roster. Person is listed at 6'4, 299 on the Seahawks' official roster, and was a 7th round pick out of Montana State by the Niners. Sort of a curious move by the team to promote a tackle at this point in time, but it happened nonetheless.
Finally, the Seahawks signed WR Phil Bates to the practice squad, taking one of the two open spots there. I liked Bates a lot during the preseason - he was an interesting prospect when the team signed him (writeup here) and he received rave reviews in training camp (writeup here). He's obviously a very developmental type of player, but it's cool to see he's still on the Seahawks' radar.
- Rob Rang, on with Ian Furness and Jason Puckett, SportsRadioKJR during training camp, said this about Bates:
"At least for mini-camps, the undrafted free agent [that has the best chance to be this year's 'Doug Baldwin' story] was undoubtedly Phil Bates, the wide receiver from Ohio. 6'1, 220 pounds, he played quarterback most of the time while with the Bobcats, and you know, he wasn't very successful as a quarterback -- he was more of a read option quarterback -- he's athletic, has a big arm, but sometimes wasn't very accurate. He moved over to wide receiver -- he wasn't very productive, I think he only had one touchdown and maybe a few dozen catches on the season -- but at the same time, I gotta tell you: When I watched him in mini-camp, I thought -- 'This is a grown-ass man."
"[Bates] is an impressive looking physical specimen, who, really, if the Seahawks had invested a middle-round draft pick in him, I would have been pleased as punch, based on what I saw at mini-camp. As an undrafted free agent playing at the wide receive position, it's easy to make a good, quick first impression, but what was most impressive, I thought, about him, was that he was truly working on his routes, he showed the natural burst out of his breaks that you're looking for. Obviously, he's still going to be, very much, a work in progress as a route-runner, but I never saw him drop a pass, I never saw him shirk from the physicality of running over the middle, I did see him go up and make some big time catches, so there was a lot of reasons to be pretty excited about him."
"Again, [he's] 6'1, 220, as he's listed by the Seahawks, and he's carrying all of that. Now, most receivers in this day-in-age are running at the 185 pound range, so you know, to see a guy who's 220 and still has some motor to him, you know, was impressive."
Here are a couple of Kearse prospect vids from our friends over at DraftBreakdown.