Seahawks bring back Jeron Johnson, waive George Farmer
After losing Earl Thomas for the remainder of the season, the Seahawks have added some depth at safety by bringing back Jeron Johnson, who was with the team from 2011 to 2014.
The Seahawks announced that move and three others Tuesday. Thomas was placed on Injured Reserve, a formality after coach Pete Carroll said a day earlier that his broken leg will keep him from playing again this season. Seattle also waived running back George Farmer to make room for fullback Marcel Reece, who’s signing was reported on Monday.
Johnson, 28, returns to the team that signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Boise State in 2011. He was primarily a special-teams player during his four seasons with the Seahawks and made one start for Kam Chancellor at strong safety in 2014. He also backed up Thomas at free safety.
He’s presumably returning as a backup. Carroll has said Steven Terrell will start at free safety, where he’s played the last games weeks in relief of Thomas. Terrell stepped in against Philadelphia when Thomas suffered a strained hamstring that kept him out the following week in Tampa Bay. He stepped in again Sunday night against Carolina when Thomas broke his tibia in the second quarter.
Johnson signed a two-year deal with Washington in 2015 but was released after one season. He was with Kansas City this past training camp but didn’t make the team.
#HomeSweetHome,” Johnson tweeted after the Seahawks announced his signing.
Reece, 31, is a former Husky and a four-time Pro Bowl selection with Oakland, where he signed as an undrafted free agent in 2008. His addition comes with fullback Will Tukuafu going through concussion protocol this week after leaving Sunday night’s game with a concussion.
Farmer played in the last two games, mainly on third down and in two-minute situations. He was promoted from the practice squad after Seattle lost C.J. Prosise to a broken shoulder blade and Troymaine Pope to an ankle injury that sidelined him the following week.
Waiving Farmer leaves the Seahawks with three tailbacks on their 53-man roster – Thomas Rawls, Pope and Alex Collins – but Reece could factor into Seattle’s backfield as more than just a blocker. He played receiver at Washington and has been a prolific receiving threat over his NFL career, catching 205 passes for 2,015 yards and 12 touchdowns.
As noted by the Seahawks, undrafted free agents now make up more than half of their 53-man roster as the additions of Johnson and Reece bring that total to 27. And with Thomas on IR, rookie right guard Germain Ifefi is the only first-round pick.
The Seahawks also made two moves with their practice squad. Former Husky wide receiver Kevin Smith was released and Seattle signed defensive tackle Shaneil Jenkins, an undrafted rookie.