Now onto Week 7 of the NFL season, two Seattle Seahawks who have been anticipating a return for a long time may actually get their wish: A deliverance from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) and Non-Football Injury (NFI) lists to Seattle’s 53-man roster.
Cornerback DeShawn Shead, who we last saw on the field in the playoffs in Atlanta going down to a non-contact ACL injury, is eligible to return to practice October 16; same for free agent defensive end Dion Jordan, who underwent knee surgery over the summer.
Players on PUP and NFI are barred from practicing with the team or playing (obviously) but can do conditioning work with team trainers in the meantime. In the next three weeks, the Seahawks will have to decide whether to activate Shead and/or Jordan. Should they decline to add either player to the active roster by the end of Week 9, he will be placed on injured reserve and lost for the season.
Shead, 29, has spent parts of five seasons with Seattle; the undrafted free agent took over the Seahawks’ left CB starting role in 2016, and logged an interception, a forced fumble, 12 passes defensed, and 56 tackles.
Jordan, 27, hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since December 28, 2014. In his 26 career games, he has three sacks.
“He’s just a couple of weeks now. He’s been looking at this Giants game and the week after that. I know he has a couple of weeks before he can get back out, but he’s in full push mode. He’s trying to get it done. As soon as they let him back out, he’s coming.”
“He is still a couple weeks away from us, I think, getting him back out there. But he is in full conditioning mode right now. He is in football conditioning mode with the trainers and the strength and conditioning staff. He is pushing it. We will see how far he can go and how fast he can go. We will just keep our fingers crossed for him. It has been a long haul for him and we are really pulling for him.”
Shead’s imminent return will have observers wondering where on the defense he fits exactly. With rookie Shaquill Griffin, veteran Jeremy Lane and last-minute pickup Justin Coleman all sharing time at two CB spots, are there many snaps for Shead?
Maybe. It’s a long, brutal season, bodies break down, inevitably. And while Coleman has a pick-six to his name, through four games, the non-Richard Sherman defensive backs have shown some statistical shortcomings.
Passer rating against thus far for Seattle cornerbacks— PFF SEA Seahawks (@PFF_Seattle) October 6, 2017
Justin Coleman 33.1
Richard Sherman 63.5
Jeremy Lane 96.3
Shaquill Griffin 103.1
The third overall pick in 2013 out of Oregon, Jordan washed out with the Dolphins because of three violations of the league’s substance abuse policy; he then failed a physical with Miami in March of this year. The Seahawks signed Jordan on April 11.
It’s hard to say how close to “football shape” Jordan is — it’s a fool’s errand to even guess. But with Cliff Avril out (neck) and Michael Bennett dealing with a plantar fascia ligament injury in his right foot, there figure to be eventual pass-rushing opportunities for another Carroll reclamation project, especially a once-highly-touted edge rusher.
The Seahawks have probably had about an average amount of injuries this year, if not been a bit lucky. Consider the fortunes of the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, or Houston Texans right about now. In fact, they could be getting one key starter back and some depth at line that may or may not work out, but is definitely needed.