RENTON — The Seattle Seahawks’ 53-man roster to begin the regular season has some caveats.
The team has only four wide receivers. That may change as the team scans the NFL’s waiver wire into Wednesday after transactions involving more than 800 players across the league Tuesday.
Tight end Colby Parkinson is one of three tight ends on the initial roster. Parkinson has his second serious foot injury in as many summers. Coach Pete Carroll said the team doesn’t believe his 6-foot-7 draft choice from 2020 needs another foot surgery, but the team doesn’t know how long Parkinson will be out. He could go onto the injured reserve list, now that he’s on the 53-man regular-season roster, and return in as few as three weeks, per NFL rules.
Players put on injured reserve before being on the 53-man roster are out for the year. That’s what happened to linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven and wide receiver John Ursua after their season-ending knee injuries.
Here’s a look at Seattle’s first roster for the 2021 regular season:
Quarterback (3): Russell Wilson, Geno Smith, Sean Mannion
A surprise to use a roster spot on Mannion. They former Rams backup when new Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron coached with Los Angeles seemed likely to get through waivers and onto the practice squad as the third quarterback.
Running back (5): Chris Carson, Alex Collins, Rashaad Penny, DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer
Collins was the best of this group in the preseason (Carson didn’t play in any of the three games). Instead of giving up on Penny in the final year of his contract, the often-injured 2018 first-round pick stays — because history says this team will need all five running backs and more this season because of more injuries here.
Tight end (3): Gerald Everett, Will Dissly, Colby Parkinson
Everett is a tight end in name only. He will often be a wide receiver, part of the reason Seattle only kept four wide receivers and waived Penny Hart. Everett is a unique talent Wilson hasn’t had at this position with the Seahawks. The team is hoping Hart, its receiver respected by Wilson and inside the locker room for coming up through the practice squad, gets back on the practice squad.
Wide receiver (4): DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Freddie Swain, Dee Eskridge
Cody Thompson was cut, but deserved to be on this roster with how well he performed with Wilson and the starting offense all training camp while Eskridge was out with an injured big toe. Eskridge already has a special package of plays from Waldron. One is going to be the fly sweep.
“My specialty,” Eskridge said last weekend, smiling.
Offensive linemen (11): Duane Brown, Brandon Shell, Damien Lewis, Gabe Jackson, Kyle Fuller, Ehtan Pocic, —Jake Curhan, —Stone Forsythe, Jamarco Jones, Phil Haynes, Cedric Ogbuehi
Something of a surprise they kept Ogbuehi and Curhan, the one undrafted rookie to make the team. Curhan deserved it with a standout preseason and camp. But keeping Ogbuehi means four backup tackles counting Pocic, who has played center, guard and tackle for Seattle.
Defensive linemen (10): Carlos Dunlap, Kerry Hyder, Poona Ford, Al Woods, Darrell Taylor, L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Benson Mayowa, Alton Robinson, Byran Mone
Seven ends, just three tackles in Ford, Woods and Mone. Expect Seattle to sign a veteran tackle shortly. We’ll list Taylor as an end because that’s where he’s likely to have the most impact in his debut season after missing his 2020 rookie year injured. He’s also playing strongside linebacker on early downs, but with as much nickel as the defense is likely to be in with Marquise Blair healthy again for this season Taylor may not be a third linebacker in base defense more than 30% of the time in 2021.
Linebacker (4): Bobby Wagner, Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton, Nick Bellore
Taylor would be the starter in base 4-3. Bellore is a fullback, too, but the season-ending knee injury to Ben Burr-Kirven means Bellore is now the backup middle linebacker. West Point graduate Jon Rhattigan is likely to clear waivers and be on the practice squad as an undrafted rookie middle linebacker from Army. That could get Bellore back on offense more.
Cornerback (5): Ahkello Witherspoon, D.J. Reed, Tre Flowers, Sidney Jones, Tre Brown
It’s Witherspoon with his $4 million guaranteed for this year and Reed as the starters and former 49ers succeeding Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar. Jones arrives in Monday’s trade from Jacksonville with 31 games of starting experience and the Seahawks being familiar with him from his days starring at the University of Washington a few years ago. Brown was the second of the team’s three picks in this spring’s draft.
Safety (5): Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Ryan Neal, Marquise Blair, Ugo Amadi
Blair is the nickel, Neal the dime, sixth defensive back. Amadi backing them up. Diggs wants a new contract and is sitting in. He — and Duane Brown at left tackle — will start the opener and not forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars in game checks now that the season is here.
Specialists (3): Jason Myers, Michael Dickson, Tyler Ott
Same crew returns.