Seahawks linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven will miss the rest of the season after being placed on injured reserve by the team on Monday after he tore his ACL in Saturday’s 30-3 loss to the Broncos.
The Seahawks also placed wide receiver John Ursua on injured reserve after he also suffered an ACL tear Saturday.
Since each is being placed on the IR before Sept. 1 neither can return this season. (Players placed on IR after Sept. 1 can be designated to return after missing three games.)
Seattle also waived quarterback Alex McGough and defensive tackle Cedrick Lattimore in moves that got the team’s roster down to 80 before Tuesday’s deadline.
Burr-Kirven, a former UW standout, was injured on the opening kickoff and carted off. Coach Pete Carroll later said he had suffered a “serious” knee injury and that it would be “a while” before he could play again.
Burr-Kirven was working as a backup at both inside linebacker spots, but primarily at middle linebacker behind veteran Bobby Wagner.
Cody Barton can also play there and on Saturday the Seahawks had fullback Nick Bellore — a former linebacker with the Jets, 49ers and Lions — also playing inside, getting 28 snaps and making five tackles.
Burr-Kirven, a fifth-round pick in 2019, played just 10 defensive snaps last season, all in a 40-3 blowout of the Jets. But he was one of the team’s core special teams players, with 293 special teams snaps last year, more than anyone on the team other than Barton.
Ursua hurt his knee in the second quarter of the game and later announced on Instagram that he had torn his ACL. Ursua was battling for a spot on the 53-man roster, though it remains unclear how many receivers the Seahawks will keep.
Seattle appears to have four sure things at receiver in DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Dee Eskridge and Freddie Swain. Penny Hart appears to have the inside track for the fifth spot but has missed the past two weeks with an ankle injury. Ursua and a host of others have been competing with Hart for that spot, or to compel Seattle to keep more than five.
McGough got the start in Saturday’s game but threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in the first half as the Seahawks fell behind 17-0.
His waiving means Seattle now has three QBs on its roster with Geno Smith and Sean Mannion behind Russell Wilson. McGough was a 2018 seventh-round pick of the Seahawks and also has spent time with the Jaguars and Texans. He was re-signed by Seattle late last season to the practice squad.
Smith suffered a concussion in the first preseason game and did not play last week, but Carroll said he has been cleared to return.
Lattimore was listed third on the depth chart at defensive tackle behind Al Woods and Bryan Mone but Seattle also has Myles Adams and Jarrod Hewitt working there. Hewitt, an undrafted rookie free agent from West Virginia, had one of Seattle’s two sacks in Saturday’s game.
Lattimore was on the practice squad all of last season before being called up to play in the playoff loss to the Rams, making six tackles. He is in his second year out of Iowa.
Seahawks getting visit from DT Geno Atkins
The Seahawks are getting a visit from veteran defensive tackle Geno Atkins Monday, a source confirmed to The Seattle Times.
If Atkins, 33, were to sign, he would reunite with longtime Bengals teammate Carlos Dunlap.
Atkins played with the Bengals from 2010 through last season and has made eight Pro Bowls.
But he suffered a shoulder injury last year that limited him to eight games. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Atkins is “fully cleared” from rotator cuff surgery in June. But the Seahawks will obviously use the visit, which will include a workout, to check him out physically and see if there is a fit.
The move is an interesting one because Seattle has seemed to like its depth at defense tackle where the team has Poona Ford, Woods and Mone. Ford signed an extension in the offseason and Woods was brought back for his third time with the team following the salary cap-related release of Jarran Reed.
Seattle last year often went with three true defensive tackles on its gameday roster, one reason the team ended up not having much use for veteran Damon “Snacks” Harrison.
But the Seahawks are always looking, especially when it comes to pass rush up front and they likely view Atkins as a fit at the three-technique tackle spot behind Ford, with Woods and Mone nose tackles.
The 6-1, 300-pound Atkins has been one of the best pass-rushing defensive tackles during his career with 75.5 sacks.
But after making 10 in 2018, he has just 4.5 in 24 games over the past two seasons.
Atkins, though, was held to just 119 snaps in 2020 due to the injury, when he had no sacks, though he did play a career-high 816 in 2019 when he made 4.5. But that was also his first season under new coach Zac Taylor, who scrapped the team’s traditional 4-3 look under longtime coach Marvin Lewis.
TE Luke Willson expected to visit Seahawks
With the Seahawks low on tight ends entering their final preseason game, the team may turn to a familiar and popular face to help out — Luke Willson.
The team is expected to host Willson for a visit this week, a source confirmed, and he could sign depending on how the workout goes for what would be his fourth stint with the team.
Seattle has five tight ends on its roster, but two are battling injuries — Colby Parkinson, who suffered a foot injury two weeks ago and is out indefinitely though with the hope he might return by the start of the regular season; and Tyler Mabry, who has not played in the two preseason games due to a sprained foot.
Willson is now 31 and the team might be looking for someone to flesh out the position for Saturday’s game.
Conversely, Willson could give the team something of a security blanket as it assesses the health of Parkinson, a second-year player out of Stanford who was emerging as a potential big part of the offense this year with some early strong training camp performances before being injured the week of the preseason opener against the Raiders.
Carroll said last week that Parkinson’s injury was not as serious as originally feared and that he would not need surgery and that “we’re hopeful he can get back in a couple of weeks, so we’ll see how that goes.”
Willson, though, could allow Seattle to take advantage of some roster rule-maneuvering next week in the cutdown from 80 to 53 and give them some roster flexibility while Parkinson recovers.
Specifically, the team could cut Willson, and since he is a vested veteran he would be subject to waivers and keep Parkinson on the initial 53-man roster.