Seahawks place Mike Morgan on IR, sign Jordan Tripp off practice squad
The Seahawks will be without starting strong-side linebacker Mike Morgan for at least two months after he was placed on injured reserve Monday.
Coach Pete Carroll said Morgan will have surgery Tuesday to repair a sports hernia, an issue he’s been dealing with for a while. Morgan missed some time during the preseason to see a specialist in Philadelphia, Dr. William Meyers, who also treated running back Marshawn Lynch for a similar issue last season. Morgan was limited in practice all last week but started for the Seahawks in their win over the Jets at MetLife Stadium, playing nine snaps on defense and six on special teams.
Carroll said Morgan stayed back east following the game and will have surgery Tuesday in Philadelphia.
Morgan could return this season. Carroll said the typical recovery timetable for the surgery he’s having is four to six weeks, with four weeks being “pretty fortunate.” However, players on IR cannot resume practicing for six weeks and aren’t eligible to play in games for eight weeks. Also, teams are only allowed to recall one player from IR each season. So unless the Seahawks decide to use that chip on another player instead, Morgan could be back at the earliest for their Week-13 game against Carolina, which is on Dec. 4.
Teams are no longer required to designate players for return once they’re placed on IR under a rule tweak that went into effect this season. So the Seahawks can assess Morgan’s health and that of any other injured players they may want to instead bring back before making a decision.
In the meantime, Carroll said third-year players Cassius Marsh and Kevin Pierre-Louis will be in the mix to replace Morgan at strong-side linebacker. Seattle is also promoting Jordan Tripp off the practice squad to fill his spot on the roster.
Marsh, naturally a defensive end, lost out to Morgan in an offseason competition to be Seattle’s starter while Pierre-Louis has mostly played on the weak side. Tripp is a third-year player from Montana who has been with Miami and Jacksonville the past two seasons, playing 25 games with one start. He’s listed at 6 feet 4 and 244 pounds.
Whichever player ends up replacing Morgan will be taking over what is something of a part-time position in Seattle’s defense. The Seahawks sub out their strong-side linebacker for a third cornerback in nickel situations, which they’ve been in more often this season than their base defense. Morgan has played only 64 of Seattle’s 243 defensive snaps (26.3 percent) through four games compared to 179 (73.7 percent) for nickelback Jeremy Lane.
Here are some other Seahawks injury and personnel notes:
• Carroll said the Seahawks are in good shape health-wise heading into their bye, with no new injuries from Sunday’s game and a week off for some of their previously banged-up players to rest. That includes quarterback Russell Wilson. Carroll said he made it out of the game unscathed. “He’s thrilled about the way he got out of that thing. He got hit a couple times but nothing on the knees or ankles that bothered him. He’s already deep into the process of this week and we’re anticipating that he’s going to be in pretty good shape two weeks from now.”
• Carroll said the Seahawks are hoping that running back C.J. Prosise will return from the bye no longer needing to wear a cast on his injured hand, though he said that could take another week. Prosise cracked a bone in his wrist in Seattle’s opener. He has returned to practice, but he hasn’t played in a game since then as the cast he’s had to wear has made it difficult to handle the football.
• Defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson will be out a couple weeks due to a similar issue, Carroll said. Jefferson has been playing with a broken bone in his wrist, which Carroll said he had to get fixed. “He’s already played with a cast on, and he’ll be able to do that in two to three weeks.”
• Carroll said defensive tackle Jarran Reed and tight end Nick Vannett should be able to resume practicing once Seattle returns from the bye. Reed missed Sunday’s game with a hip injury while Vannett hasn’t played since suffering a high-ankle sprain in Seattle’s second preseason game.
• The Seahawks released quarterback Jake Heaps from their practice squad and waived tackle Terry Poole from injured reserve.