The Seahawks head to Pittsburgh this week looking to "get our game going," as Pete Carroll put it, in a matchup of two 2-3 teams looking to get on track. Carroll met with the media prior to Wednesday's practice and provided a few updates on everything from injuries to the decision to waive former starting cornerback Tre Flowers.
Here are five takeaways from Carroll's press conference:
1. Tre Flowers will benefit from a fresh start.
Flowers began his career as Seattle's staring right cornerback, holding that job for two full seasons, but he has been in and out of the starting lineup the past two seasons, and lost his starting job after three weeks this year. Carroll has always been fond of Flowers as a person and player, and thinks it will be good for him to get a fresh start with a new team.
"I think it was time for a change for him," Carroll said. "He had a couple of guys who were getting play time ahead of him. I love that guy, I love the kid. I've been working with him as close as anybody I've worked with since I've been here, and I feel better for him to get out of here and get going again. There's a lot of teams that need corners, and I hope he gets a great shot."
2. Tre Brown is "full go and ready to go."
With Flowers gone, it seems likely that rookie cornerback Tre Brown will be added to the roster from injured reserve this week—Brown returned to practice last week—and while that move hasn't happened yet, Carroll indicated that Brown will make his Seahawks debut soon. Brown was starting to get first-team reps at left cornerback prior to his knee injury, and Carroll expects the rookie to be back in the competition for playing time soon.
"This is going to be a real week for him; last week was a partial week," Carroll said, referring to the team's lighter practice last week with a Thursday game. "I've already talked to him about, this is the time he comes back to action, and let's see if he can return to the level of play—when he got hurt, he was right at the verge of competing to be in the play time. He's done a lot of positive things, and unfortunately his knee acted up and he couldn't respond right then. So I'm going back to where he was, like I said to him today, 'Let's pick up where you left off and show us that you've got your stuff together, and let's see where that leaves you in the competition of it, so he'll be battling. But he's full go and ready to go."
3. Darrell Taylor will play more starting this week.
After missing his rookie season with a leg injury, Darrell Taylor is off to a great start in 2021, recording a team-leading 4.0 sacks in his first five games while also playing a big role on special teams. Taylor has led the team in sacks despite playing just over a third of Seattle's defensive snaps, the sixth most among defensive linemen and edge rushers, but Carroll said Taylor has earned an increase in playing time going forward.
"He's really ready to be given more opportunities now, and he's got off to a really good start," Carroll said. "He's growing with us and all that, and he's done a really good job on special teams which is way more of a statement than you guys might realize. For a young guy who's a pass rusher on the edge to be the first guy down on the kickoff team and be contributing to a great kickoff team and make plays and in on the punt team and all that stuff that he does, he's all in. So it's just giving him more, so his playtime his opportunities will increase, he's earned that."
4. No decision yet on putting Russell Wilson on injured reserve.
The Seahawks have, so far at least, left Russell Wilson on the 53-man roster, but could at some point move him to injured reserve if they know he is going to miss at least three games. If the Seahawks want that roster spot, that move can be made any time between now and Saturday, and Carroll said they're still deciding on that.
"We don't have to do that yet, so we're figuring that out," Carroll said. "We're going to use all the days that we need to make a really good choice there."
The Seahawks could end up putting Wilson on injured reserve to add Jake Luton to the roster as the backup behind Geno Smith, though they could also elevate Luton from the practice squad for the game without making room on the roster. A player can only be elevated from the practice squad twice, however, so eventually he would have to be added to the roster if Wilson is indeed going to miss three or more games.
5. Updates on Chris Carson and other injuries.
Carroll said Monday that running back Chris Carson, who missed last week's game with a neck injury, made "a big turn" this week, and while Carson won't practice Wednesday, he did go through the morning walkthrough and should be back on the practice field Thursday.
"He went through the walkthrough today, I think we're going to hold him out today and bring him back tomorrow and see how he does," Carroll said.
Cornerback Nigel Warrior, who Seattle claimed off waivers, then placed on injured reserve ahead of the season opener, has not yet returned to practice and is still a couple of weeks away, but he is getting closer, Carroll said.
"Still a couple of weeks away," Carroll said. "But he's doing really well and he's made a lot of progress. He's in pretty good shape right now, but it's still a couple of weeks."
Photos from Seahawks practice on Monday, October 11 at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton.