Waiting his turn

Posted Nov 8, 2011

The Seahawks added Deon Butler to their 53-man roster on Tuesday, making him the last of three players who had been on the PUP list to be activated.

Deon Butler waited his turn as first tight end Cameron Morrah and then cornerback Roy Lewis were activated off the physically unable to perform list by the Seahawks.

“I’ll be ready when they need me,” the third-year wide receiver said last week.

Butler’s turn came Tuesday, when he also was added to the 53-man roster. To clear a roster spot, rookie wide receiver Kris Durham was placed on injured reserve.

The club also signed rookie defensive tackle Pep Levingston off its practice squad. Defensive tackle Al Woods was released to clear a spot for Levingston, a seventh-round selection in April’s NFL Draft. Woods had been claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay on September 4 and played in two games.

Wide receiver Patrick Williams also was signed to the practice squad. He had been with the team in training camp and was on the practice squad last season. To clear a spot, guard Paul Fanaika was released.

The return of Butler, a third-round pick in the 2009 draft, brings a splash of speed to the passing game. He also provides some experience after starting eight games and catching 36 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns last season. That was before having his leg so severely broken in the Week 14 game against the 49ers in San Francisco that Butler needed surgery to place a steel rod in his right leg. Butler also had 15 catches during his rookie season.

Like Butler, Morrah (toe surgery) and Lewis (knee surgery) began the season on PUP. Morrah was added to the roster for the Week 7 game against the Browns in Cleveland. Lewis joined the 53-man roster the following week for the game against the Bengals at CenturyLink Field. Those moves were necessitated by other injuries, as Morrah was needed because starting tight end Zach Miller was out with neck and head injuries; and Lewis stepped in as the nickel back because Walter Thurmond went down with a season-ending ankle injury and rookie Richard Sherman replaced him at left cornerback.

All three PUP players had a three-week window to practice before the team had to make a move, and that window was set to expire for Butler today.

What his role will be for Sunday’s home game against the Baltimore Ravens remains to be seen, but Butler already has made a statement by returning from such a serious injury.