Seahawks sign RB Kelvin Taylor, LB Ronald Powell; Troymaine Pope, Will Tukuafu to IR
What has been continuous turnover in Seattle’s backfield in 2016 continued Tuesday with the team placing tailback Troymaine Pope and fullback Will Tukuafu on Injured Reserve, ending their seasons. The Seahawks signed rookie tailback Kelvin Taylor and linebacker Ronald Powell to fill their spots on their 53-man roster.
Tukuafu missed Seattle’s game against Green Bay after suffering a concussion a week earlier, and coach Pete Carroll said Monday that he was still not cleared to return. Marcel Reece, signed last week, handled fullback duties for Seattle on Sunday – catching two passes for 38 yards on his 12 offensive snaps – and figures to continue to do so now that Tukuafu’s season is over.
Pope injured his ankle Sunday in Green Bay. Carroll said Monday it’s the same ankle that Pope sprained earlier this season and called his latest sprain “pretty severe,” so IR seemed like a possibility. Pope, an undrafted rookie and a preseason standout for Seattle, rejoined the team last month when Christine Michael was waived. He gained 43 yards on 11 carries over three games.
Pope is one of eight tailbacks who have carried the ball for this season for the Seahawks, whose backfield has been in flux mostly due to injuries. Taylor would be the ninth. A sixth-round pick out of Florida by the 49ers, Taylor began the season on San Francisco’s practice squad and also spent time on Seattle’s. He’s the son of long-time NFL running back Fred Taylor.
Kelvin Taylor (listed at 5-10, 212) gives Seattle a third healthy tailback behind starter Thomas Rawls and rookie Alex Collins, who had his most productive game of the season Sunday with 56 yards on 1o touches but also lost a fumble. It was the second time he’s fumbled this season in only 17 carries. Seattle also has George Farmer on its practice squad.
Powell (6-3, 237) is a third-year player and is also from Florida. He was a fifth-round pick by New Orleans in 2014 and was on the Bears’ practice squad. His signing may be ties to the foot injury that has kept linebacker Brock Coyle out of the last three games. Carroll said Coyle has a chance to play Thursday, but it’s not a certainty with the short week.