Seahawks promote Shaquem Griffin from practice squad to 53-man roster
A week after he shined in limited action against the Dallas Cowboys, outside linebacker/defensive end Shaquem Griffin has been added to the Seahawks’ active 53-man roster.
Griffin, a third-year player from the University of Central Florida, was drafted by Seattle in the fifth round in 2018 after a standout career for the Knights, in which he was a two-time First-Team All-AAC member and a Second-Team All-American in 2017.
What made Griffin’s play even more impressive is that he has just one hand due to a birth defect. He is the first player in NFL history to only have one hand. And when the Seahawks drafted Griffin in 2018, it reunited him with his twin brother, Shaquill, who was a Pro Bowl cornerback for Seattle in 2019.
Shaquem Griffin started in his first NFL game at outside linebacker, but after that he was used almost exclusively on special teams. In 2019, Griffin again was a core special teams player, but he emerged as a pass rush option late in the year due to the team’s struggles at getting sacks. In college, Griffin was great at getting to the quarterback, recording 18.5 sacks in his final two seasons. He and his brother combined for a third-down sack of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the Seahawks’ playoff loss in Green Bay.
Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin sack Aaron Rodgers on a crucial third down. Seahawks ball.
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) January 13, 2020
Griffin was a late roster cut ahead of the 2020 season due in part to the Seahawks’ depth at linebacker with veteran Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and Bruce Irvin, as well as younger players like 2019 picks Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven as well as 2020 first-round pick Jordyn Brooks. Griffin cleared waivers and returned to Seattle on the team’s practice squad.
Irvin tore his ACL in Week 2, which prompted the Seahawks to promote Griffin for Week 3 against the Cowboys thanks to a new rule for 2020 that allows members of the practice squad to be promoted for, at most, two times for games without being added to the 53-man roster until they have to clear waivers. After Brooks left the game with a knee injury that has him ruled out for Week 4 against the Miami Dolphins, Griffin saw defensive snaps late both as a pass rusher and as a linebacker, often spying Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. Griffin made the most of his playing time, recording a quarterback hit and also broke up a pass.
Head coach Pete Carroll had said that both Griffin and defensive back Ryan Neal, who was also a gameday addition from the practice squad in Week 3 and recorded the game-ending interception, would play again this week in Miami. Neal was also promoted to the 53-man roster earlier this week.
With Griffin being promoted, the Seahawks’ 53-man roster is now full, so any signings, practice squad promotions or injury activations will require a member of the team to either be released, traded or placed on injured reserve.