RENTON -- The Seahawks have added another body to an already crowded running back room.
The team activated J.D. McKissic from injured reserve on Wednesday. He will be available to play this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers after spending the first 12 weeks of the season on the injured list with a foot injury.
"J.D. is coming back," head coach Pete Carroll said. "We're going to hopefully get him through the week and if everything works out right then we would like to have him participate this week."
McKissic joins Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Mike Davis and C.J. Prosise as potential ball-carriers in Seattle's backfield. Carroll wouldn't give any indication of how the team will try to work McKissic into their rotation. He is a capable special teams player and can be a kick return option, so that's at least one avenue of getting him involved on the field.
McKissic could have practiced with the team for an additional two weeks before being added to the 53-man roster, but the Seahawks were thrilled with his week of practice a week ago.
“He looked great, really. He looked really, really quick and on it,” Carroll said on Friday. “He jumped right into doing stuff and his assignments and all that but it just doesn’t make sense for us to try and do it in one week’s time so we’ll go next week and take a look at him again and anticipate that he’s going to be in pretty good shape and pretty close to going the next week. We’ll wait and see but he looked terrific.”
McKissic was the only running back to score a rushing touchdown for the Seahawks in 2017. Seattle had four rushing touchdowns last season with three coming from quarterback Russell Wilson. McKissic's 30-yard run against the Indianapolis Colts was the only time a running back found the end zone on the ground. Carson and McKissic each scored touchdowns in the passing game.
McKissic takes the roster spot of wide receiver Keenan Reynolds, who was waived on Monday. Reynolds had provided insurance at the position in Carolina as Doug Baldwin was questionable to play due to a groin injury.
Reynolds and tight end Tyrone Swoopes were both re-signed to the team's practice squad on Wednesday.
Pete Carroll on Richard Sherman: "Every bit of it was worth it."
The last couple of years of Richard Sherman's tenure with the Seattle Seahawks certainly had their rocky moments.
However, if you were expecting Pete Carroll to have any negative thoughts about the time Sherman spent with Seattle, you'd be sorely mistaken.
"He was a challenge like many of our guys," Carroll said of coaching Sherman. "It was a challenge in being willing to really work with somebody and see the beautiful aspects of this individual. He was an amazing person and I had great respect for him. I was challenged because he’s brilliant and he had a lot of thoughts. This tremendous competitiveness about him that took him places that some other athletes don’t get to.
"Every bit of it was worth it."
From quarreling with coaches on the sidelines, to saying after his release that Carroll's messaging was stale and that the team had "lost their way a little bit", there had been some friction at times between the team and its star cornerback.
"I knew who Sherm is," Carroll said . "I know him way differently than you guys probably think I do and I think the world of him. There was times along the time he was here that he said things I might not have agreed with and had to work through and all that. But he's his own man. He was a stud of a guy when he was here and whatever came out during the time in the transition came out. I don't care. I could care less about that."
Sherman makes his return to CenturyLink Field for the first time on Sunday as a visitor with the San Francisco 49ers.
Sherman has been slowed at times this season while returning from the torn Achilles last November that eventually ended his Seahawks career. Seattle released him over the offseason and he signed with the 49ers in March.
"I knew the big question was going to be could he return and get healthy coming off of that big injury and he put a lot of time into working," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said in a conference call on Wednesday. "He’s battled through it throughout this year. I think he’s had some games where he’s been more healthy than others, but he’s found a way to come out and have a real good year for us and help us a ton and I’ve loved how he’s handled himself here in our building."
Sherman was named a first-team All-Pro three times during his seven seasons with the Seahawks and was selected to play in four Pro Bowls. His 32 interceptions from 2011 to 2017 led the league over that span. He assumed a starting job as a rookie in 2011 when Walter Thurmond and Marcus Trufant were sidelined by injuries. He started every game from that point forward until his torn Achilles in Week Ten of last season in Arizona.
Sherman's tipped pass of Colin Kaepernick that was intercepted by linebacker Malcolm Smith (now also with the 49ers) was perhaps the single most defining play of Seattle's first Super Bowl run. It thwarted the 49ers in their efforts to reach a second straight Super Bowl and sent the Seahawks onward to Super Bowl XLVIII, where they would throttle the Denver Broncos 43-8 to claim their first championship.
"I think that moment when he tipped the ball was about as special as it gets," Carroll said.
Carroll said he expects Sherman to get a warm reception when he returns with the 49ers this weekend.
"They’ll be great," Carroll said of the fans. "I mean, I think he’s loved around here for all the great stuff that he did. I don’t know that it’s going to be noticeable what the reception is like. If it’s noticeable then it’s pretty significant. He did a lot of great stuff here. I don’t think our fans think any differently than I do about that."
Wide receiver Doug Baldwin made it out of Sunday's game without aggravating a groin injury that had him questionable to play against the Panthers.
Carroll has said Baldwin was feeling the best he had all season a week ago. Baldwin then promptly tweaked his groin and put his status for the game in doubt.
"I told him today that I'm not going to say this is the best he's felt because I said that last week and then something happened with his groin," Carroll joked on Wednesday when asked how Baldwin was doing.
"He feels really good. That was amazing what he did last week. For the groin strain that he had to play in a game like that and play at a high level, there aren't very many people that can do stuff like that. Anybody that understands that injury in particular as a sprinter kind of athlete, I don't know how he did it. Doctors don't know how he did it either. He just did. In a sense - don't want to make anything more out of this than it should be - it was a heroic effort by him just to want to play and then to prove it that he could on game day and then to go out and play like crazy, he played a beautiful game. Had five catches or something, you know. I think he's doing great. Unfortunately we missed him by an inch for the touchdown, would have been a big play for us. Other than that he played a beautiful game. That wasn't him, Russ missed the throw."
Linebacker K.J. Wright will not play again this week as he's out of town getting his knee issues addressed. Wright has played in just three games this season due to an injury that required surgery late in the preseason. It kept him out for the first six games and sidelined him again three weeks ago against the Los Angeles Rams.
"He's working at his rehab out of town," Carroll said. "He's doing something special that hopefully will be a big help to him. He'll be out all week."
Fullback Tre Madden injured his sternum in Sunday's win over the Panthers.
"He's sore," Carroll said. "He had a strain to his (sternum) and he's pretty sore today. It's going to be the end of the week before we know (if he can play)."
Safety Bradley McDougald also appeared on the injury report with a shoulder injury as he did not practice on Wednesday.
McDougald was bothered by a knee injury in recent weeks but has recovered from that. He was a full participant in the final two practice last week and was not in doubt to play against the Panthers. The shoulder issue in a new development.
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 31: Running back J.D. McKissic #21 of the Seattle Seahawks rushes in the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field on December 31, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)