The Seahawks cut down to 75 players on Tuesday without releasing a single healthy player, and then they swapped out a linebacker for a center -- possibly with the practice squad in mind.
Linebacker Heath Farwell, whose roster spot was in danger anyway, was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury suffered against Chicago last week. The 32-year-old won't play for the Hawks this season, but he has a chance to collect another Super Bowl ring nonetheless. It also would not be surprising to see the Hawks reach a settlement with him once he is healthy and release him so he can latch on with another team.
Also placed on IR were cornerback A.J. Jefferson and guard C.J. Davis. Jefferson's loss is surprising considering he seemed the favorite to take the fifth cornerback spot. But he suffered an ankle injury in the second preseason game and either was hurt more seriously than initially thought or else was stashed on IR as the Hawks look to next year, when Byron Maxwell will be a free agent.
On Tuesday, they also waived linebacker Marcus Dowtin and claimed center Patrick Lewis off waivers from Jacksonville.
The Hawks also waived injured defensive tackle Michael Brooks, wide receiver David Gilreath and linebacker Horace Miller. All three cleared waivers and ended up on IR. Rookie cornerback Eric Pinkins was moved to the reserve non-football injury list.
The Hawks previously had cut veteran offensive lineman Wade Smith and cornerback Terrell Thomas and waived tackle Cory Brandon, running back Demitrius Bronson, wide receiver Kevin Smith, linebacker Jackson Jeffcoat and defensive backs Mike Dobson and Thomas Wolfe.
Bronson was brought back Wednesday after Christine Michael developed a hamstring injury. The Seahawks released guard Greg Van Roten.
The Hawks now have nine players on IR, including tight end Anthony McCoy, wide receiver Taylor Price and defensive tackle Jesse Williams.
The final cuts have to be made by Saturday, and the Hawks might end up putting another player on IR -- perhaps receiver Kevin Norwood.
Here's a look at the roster after the cutdown to 75, leading into the final preseason game Thursday in Oakland:
Locks: Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson
Contender: Terrelle Pryor, B.J. Daniels
Situation: Wilson has been a machine this preseason, completing 30 of 39 passes for 360 yards, two TDs and no picks. He also has run nine times for 61 yards and three scores. He looks every bit like a more experienced version of the dynamic Wilson who dominated down the stretch and in the playoffs in 2012. Meanwhile, the biggest roster question remains whether Pryor makes the team. He threw a bad interception against Chicago and really has not thrown the ball well in games. His athleticism is obvious, and it will come down to whether Pete Carroll and John Schneider want to keep a third QB simply because he is an athletic freak -- with no guarantee he will re-sign after the season or even develop into a backup in 2015. "Sometimes you just can’t afford not to have three guys because they’re so good and you've just got to have them," Carroll said. "We were very fortunate that we made it through with the two-QB thing last year. Russell’s a young and physical (player) that can handle the pounding. He does a great job. He’s not a guy that puts himself in harm’s way very often. The two-QB thing really helps you because you get another football player on your team, but sometimes you can’t afford to do it because your guys are too good." Pryor will have one last chance Thursday and will play a lot against his former team, Oakland. "This is a big week for him," Carroll said. "He's got to come through and do some big things. We'll give him some chances."
Roster prediction: Wilson, Jackson, Pryor
Locks: Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael, Derrick Coleman
Contenders: Spencer Ware, Kiero Small, Demitrius Bronson
Situation: Bronson is gone, as expected, and Small seems destined for the practice squad. Ware probably is headed there, too, if the Hawks keep Pryor and a sixth receiver.
Roster prediction: Lynch, Turbin, Michael, Coleman
Locks: Zach Miller, Luke Willson
Contenders: Cooper Helfet, RaShaun Allen, Morrell Presley
Injured reserve: Anthony McCoy (Achilles)
Situation: The tight ends had an eventful game vs. Chicago, with Willson and Helfet both leaving with injuries. Willson also dropped a couple of passes, continuing a trend that dates to last season. It would not be a surprise if Helfet overtook him as the No. 2 tight end. Either way, tight end seems to be an area of need in the 2015 draft. The Hawks need a reliable backup to -- and replacement for -- Miller.
Roster prediction: Miller, Willson, Helfet
Locks: Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Paul Richardson
Top contenders: Kevin Norwood, Ricardo Lockette, Bryan Walters, Phil Bates
Other contenders: Arceto Clark, Chris Matthews
Injured reserve: Taylor Price (knee), David Gilreath (concussion)
Situation: Harvin and Kearse were the standouts against Chicago, and Lockette had an interesting game on special teams, including a bone-jarring hit that drew a penalty. Norwood's immediate future is the key decision at this position. Carroll said the team knows enough about him to evaluate him even though he has missed the entire preseason while recovering from foot surgery. It would not be surprising to see him placed on IR, but the Hawks could just as easily keep him. If they do keep him, odds seem pretty good they will go with six receivers. That final spot would come down to Lockette and Walters, who both offer special-teams ability. And Lockette seems like he might get the call again. Said Carroll: "He’s a big factor. We’re really excited about him."
Roster prediction: Harvin, Baldwin, Kearse, Lockette, Richardson, Norwood
Locks: LT Russell Okung, LG James Carpenter, C Max Unger, RG J.R. Sweezy, OT Justin Britt, OL Alvin Bailey, C Lemuel Jeanpierre, OT Eric Winston
Contenders: OG Stephen Schilling, OL Caylin Hauptmann, OT Garry Gilliam, OG Nate Isles, C Patrick Lewis
Injured reserve: OG C.J. Davis
Situation: Unger and Okung returned from injuries for the Chicago game and got some much-needed game action as the first-team line finally played together. Okung is still working into shape after missing extended time since undergoing foot surgery. Britt is still learning, but he has nailed down the RT spot and figures to be better than Michael Bowie was as a rookie last season. Meanwhile, Winston played second LT and Bailey moved to second RT to give the Hawks some flexibility among the backups. Sweezy has been a beast this preseason -- he was moving Chicago defenders all over the field -- and seems as though he is ready to play with the consistency that eluded him last year. It seems like the Hawks will go with nine linemen, and Schilling and Hauptmann probably are battling for the final spot, which needs to be someone who can play inside.
Roster prediction: Okung, Carpenter, Unger, Sweezy, Britt, Bailey, Jeanpierre, Winston, Schilling
Locks: Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Brandon Mebane, Tony McDaniel, Kevin Williams, O'Brien Schofield
Top contenders: Greg Scruggs, Jordan Hill, Benson Mayowa, Cassius Marsh
Other contenders: D'Anthony Smith, Jimmy Staten, Andru Pulu
Injured reserve: Jesse Williams (knee), Michael Brooks (knee)
Situation: Schofield had another good game against Chicago and is obviously going to be the nickel LEO. Mayowa actually got a lot more playing time as the coaches continued to evaluate him. He is coming along, but he leaves too many plays on the field. He probably has to hope the coaches keep 10 linemen.
Roster prediction: Bennett, Avril, Mebane, McDaniel, K. Williams, Schofield, Scruggs, Hill, Marsh, Mayowa
Locks: K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner, Malcolm Smith, Mike Morgan, Brock Coyle, Bruce Irvin
Top contenders: Kevin Pierre-Louis, Korey Toomer
PUP: Bruce Irvin (hip)
Injured reserve: Heath Farwell (groin), Horace Miller (knee)
Situation: Farwell's injury seems to lock in Coyle as the backup middle linebacker; Wagner's absence all preseason was a huge boon for Coyle. Carroll said, "He took full advantage of it. … He’s been very comfortable and he’s looked very good. It’s great to get Bobby back, but on the other side it’s really helped Brock come along and show what he really means to this team." Pierre-Louis and Toomer appear to be battling for the final spot -- unless Irvin remains on PUP. The rookie KPL is definitely ahead, and Toomer has only one last chance to show what he can do. He's probably headed for the practice squad.
Roster prediction: Wright, Wagner, Smith, Morgan, Coyle, Pierre-Louis, Irvin
Locks: Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Jeremy Lane, Tharold Simon
Contenders: Akeem Auguste, Phillip Adams
Injured reserve: A.J. Jefferson (ankle)
Situation: The numbers here were reduced by three with the release of Smith and Wolfe and the surprising IR move for Jefferson. If the Hawks go with five CBs, per SOP, it looks like it is between Auguste and Adams (or a waiver pickup). Auguste was in for just five plays against Chicago, but he's been with the Hawks since last November. Of course, because DeShawn Shead can play corner, too, it is possible the Hawks will go with just eight DBs. That would enable them to keep 10 linemen.
Roster prediction: Sherman, Maxwell, Lane, Simon
Locks: Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Jeron Johnson, DeShawn Shead
Contenders: Terrance Parks, Steve Terrell
Non-football injury list: Eric Pinkins (foot)
Situation: Chancellor got his first action of the preseason and was in for 11 plays vs. Chicago. He should be ready to roll for the Packers next week. Meanwhile, Johnson, who has been prone to injury in his three years, left the Chicago game with a foot injury. If the Hawks are concerned about depth at safety, they might decide to keep Parks, who got 25 snaps vs. Chicago, rather than a fifth cornerback or 10th lineman. But odds are they will go with four safeties.
Roster prediction: Thomas, Chancellor, Johnson, Shead
Locks: P Jon Ryan, LS Clint Gresham, K Steven Hauschka
Situation: Hauschka followed up his 55-yard field goal vs. San Diego with a 59-yarder vs. Chicago that would have been a career high. He's in midseason form. Meanwhile, Thomas finally got a good shot at a punt return and ran it back 60 yards -- caught by the punter. With the offense almost unstoppable, the running joke is that Ryan has gone MIA. But no one will complain about that.
Roster prediction: Ryan, Gresham, Hauschka