RENTON — Looking to bolster the interior of their defensive line, the Seattle Seahawks signed former All-Pro Damon “Snacks” Harrison to their practice squad Wednesday and he could make his debut as early as Sunday against Minnesota.
The move could be a strong one by Seattle, which added another option to a defensive tackle rotation that already includes starters Poona Ford and Jarran Reed, and backups Bryan Mone and Anthony Rush.
Seattle didn’t need to clear a spot on the 53-man roster for Harrison by adding him to the practice squad. The Seahawks could call up Harrison for Sunday’s matchup with the Vikings, depending on his conditioning and how he gets through practice this week, coach Pete Carroll said.
“He’s been a real force in the league,” Carroll said. “He’s got a real special style, and he’s so big and so strong and stout in the middle. This opportunity to get him now and to get him on the practice squad is to give him some chance to work and get ready and learn what we’re doing and see where he can fit in as soon as possible.”
Harrison is in his ninth season and spent parts of the past two with the Detroit Lions, where he played in 25 of 26 games. He started all but one game with the Lions after being traded from the New York Giants midway through the 2018 season. His first game with Detroit came in Week 8 of the 2018 season against Seattle when he had seven tackles and a sack of Russell Wilson.
Harrison’s best season came in 2016 when he was voted first-team All-Pro after having a career-high 86 tackles and 2 ½ sacks for the Giants.
Now 31, Harrison won’t be asked to take on a similar load in Seattle. The Seahawks have been at their best on the defensive line when they have enough depth for a strong rotation and can keep snap counts under control.
That’s where Harrison fits. Reed has played at least 65% of the snaps in all four games, including 85% and 86% the first two weeks. Ford has also been above 50% all four games.
“He’s a player that’s got big character and in the locker room, his attitude and personality that you add to the team is really special,” Carroll said. “Whenever we can do that we’re trying to get better and so hopefully he’ll be able to add in.”
Harrison was released by the Lions in February, less than a year after signing him to an $11 million, one-year contract extension. He went into the 2019 season with two years left on the $46 million contract he signed with the Giants.
“He’s somebody that has to be accounted for. He makes any linebacker’s job a lot easier,” Seattle’s Bobby Wagner said.
Adding Harrison wasn’t the only move Seattle made Wednesday. The Seahawks picked up another defensive end option by signing Jonathan Bullard off the Arizona Cardinals practice squad. Bullard was a third-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2016 and appeared in 46 games over three seasons. He spent last season with Arizona, starting six of nine games.
Seattle placed defensive back and special teams standout Neiko Thorpe on injured reserve to clear a roster spot for Bullard. Carroll said Thorpe may have a sports hernia.
Carroll said safety Jamal Adams will miss his second straight game due to a groin injury. The decision was expected with Seattle having its bye next week and a run of important division games coming out of the break.
Carroll also hinted it’s unlikely rookie linebacker Jordyn Brooks will be back against the Vikings due to a sprained knee. But there’s a chance cornerback Quinton Dunbar will play after missing the past two games with a knee issue. Dunbar went through walkthrough Wednesday and is hopeful of practicing Thursday.