Stading at his locker, putting shoulder pads on for the first time since his 2022 season ended in January, veteran tackle Jason Peters was asked why, at 41-years old, he signed with Seattle to begin a 20th season in the NFL.
"Twenty sounds better than 19, don't it?" he said with a grin, before giving his real reason for signing. "Seattle's got a good team, and I feel like we can make a run in the playoffs and get to the Super Bowl, to be honest. It's a good team, I watched them last year. Why not come for 20 and get a ring?"
Peters, a nine-time Pro-Bowler and six-time All-Pro, was doing what millions of other Americans were this past weekend, watching NFL football, when the Seahawks reached out following a Week 1 loss in which left tackle Charles Cross left with a toe injury, and right tackle Abraham Lucas left with a knee injury that later landed him on injured reserve.
Peters said he hadn't been in contact with Seattle before Sunday, calling it a surprise to hear from them, but noted if it weren't for the right situation, he wouldn't have signed.
"It could have been somebody else and I might still be watching football… They've got a good team, good quarterback, a young offensive line that's up and coming, they've got a good defense. They made the playoffs last year, they've got a good team. That's what made me come."
Peters, who hasn't practiced since he was with Dallas last year, a season that ended in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, signed to Seattle's practice squad so he, ideally, will have time to slowly work his way back into game shape. However given the Seahawks' injury situation at tackle, he and the Seahawks know he could be called upon sooner than later.
Asked when it was realistic he would be ready to play, Peters said. "Maybe this Sunday, maybe a couple of weeks. I've got to get a feel for the pads, I haven't had them on since January."
On that same topic, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said, "You would think you give him a couple of weeks to get ready to go. I don't know if we can afford to do that. We'll see what happens here as we go one day at a time and work with him. He's a really interesting guy and we're lucky to have a guy like this come to us at a time like this… He looks great, he looks like he's ready to go, but he's got to go out there and work and get moving and all of that.
"He's such a remarkable player. Look at his film from last year, you can't tell how old he is. He played really well, and played a couple different spots, showed flexibility there. He's a long-term left tackle, but the flexibility is there."
While acknowledging he had only seen Peters in one walkthrough, Carroll said the former Buffalo and Philadelphia great, "looked pretty darn good today. He looked quick and light on his feet."
In addition to Peters, the Seahawks also brought back Greg Eiland, who spent the past two seasons on their practice squad, and added to the 53-man roster two rookie tackles who had been on other teams' practice squads, Raiqwon O'Neal and McClendon Curtis. While any of those four newcomers could be used for depth this week and perhaps more down the road, the most likely scenario this week with Lucas out and with it, in Carroll's words, being a challenge for Cross to get back, is that the Seahawks would turn to Stone Forsythe at left tackle and Jake Curhan at right tackle. Both of those players took over in-game last week at those positions, and should be better equipped this week if called upon again given the extra work they'll get with the No. 1 offense in practice this week.
"Both guys got thrown in late in the game, but they both know our system really well, and they'll work better when they put a whole week behind them knowing that they're out there," Carroll said. "Communication and all that will be better."
Forsythe, a 2021 sixth-round pick, started one game last season, playing every snap at right tackle in the Seahawks' Week 17 win over the Jets. While a week with the starting offense will certainly help, Forsythe knows it's his job as a backup tackle to be ready for situations like last week's.
"That's the position I'm in being the swing tackle," he said. "It's just staying ready all the time, that's what I do all week, left and right, stay ready.
"It comes down to how you mentally prepare for the game. If you come mentally prepared, have those visions that you're going to go in at some point, just stay ready throughout the whole game, I feel like it's an easier transition."
Curhan, who made the team as an undrafted free agent in 2021, started five games as a rookie, and is confident he'll be ready if he gets the call again this week in Detroit.
"It's a different situation when you're starting versus when you're backing up, because you're preparing for multiple guys instead of one job," he said. "… Things happen, but I'm confident in my abilities. It's a different situation going into a game if you know you're getting the whole thing versus if you think you've got to pop in at a couple different positions."
Seahawks practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Wash. on Sept. 13, 2023.