The NFL season got underway Thursday evening when the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Houston Texans, and on Sunday the Seattle Seahawks will start their 2020 season when they face the Atlanta Falcons in a Week 1 showdown.
For the Seahawks, injury concerns at this point have been mostly minor bumps and bruises, but between injuries and illnesses, the tackle position could be a challenge for the Hawks on Sunday. Duane Brown, who had knee surgery late in the 2019 season, is set to be one of the oldest starting offensive lineman in the NFL yet again this season and had his workload managed by the team during training camp to keep him fresh. Right tackle Brandon Shell, signed as a free agent after four years with the New York Jets, rolled an ankle during the preseason, but appears to have recovered fully.
However, swing tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, signed as a free agent to fill the George Fant role as a sixth offensive lineman in jumbo packages and who had been serving as the backup tackle on both sides of the line will not play due to a pec injury. The backup swing tackle, Jamarco Jones, was added to the injury report Saturday as questionable.
#Seahawks T Jamarco Jones has been added to the injury report as questionable due to illness.— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) September 12, 2020
With no way of knowing whether Jones would get better or worse ahead of Sunday, the Hawks decided to take no chances and promoted Chad Wheeler from the practice squad to the active roster.
Wheeler’s promotion came using the automatic promotion feature of the new collective bargaining agreement, meaning Seattle will have a 54 man active roster for Sunday and he will return to the practice squad without being exposed to waivers. In addition, since the Seahawks opted to take advantage of this benefit, there was no corresponding move that needed to be made in order to create room on the roster for Wheeler.
Wheeler entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of USC in 2017, and started five games as a rookie for the New York Giants under then Giants offensive line coach Mike Solari. He then started 14 games at tackle in 2018, but was waived with an injury designation at the end of training camp in 2019. He signed with the Seahawks practice squad in October of last year, and was promoted to the 53 man roster ahead of the team’s loss to the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round.