With safety Jamal Adams and cornerback Quinton Dunbar ruled out of Sunday’s game due to injuries, and with three other defensive backs listed as questionable, the Seahawks added depth to their secondary a day ahead of their Week 4 game at Miami, elevating safety Damarious Randall and cornerback Gavin Heslop off of the practice squad.
Randall, a 2015 first-round pick, has started 56 career games for the Packers and Browns, playing both safety and cornerback. Randall, who has 14 interceptions, 47 passes defensed and 290 tackles in his career, only joined Seattle’s practice squad on Wednesday, but Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the veteran defensive back is ready to play if called upon.
“He’s a really smart football player, played a lot of ball,” Carroll said after Friday’s practice. “He could help us if we need him.”
In addition to having Adams out with a groin injury, safety Lano Hill is questionable with a back injury that kept him out of last week’s game, and he did not practice Friday. Ryan Neal, who was recently promoted from the practice squad, is the likely starter at strong safety given Hill’s uncertain status, and if Hill isn’t able to play, that would make Randall the only available backup safety behind Quandre Diggs and Neal other than Ugo Amadi, who is Seattle’s top nickel defensive back with Marquise Blair on injured reserve.
At cornerback, Dunbar is out due to a knee injury, while Shaquill Griffin and Neiko Thorpe are both questionable, though Carroll said Griffin should be good to go. If Thorpe is unable to play Heslop would provide depth at cornerback along with Linden Stephens, who was promoted from the practice squad earlier this month.
Heslop signed with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent out of Stony Brook following the draft, and after being waived as part of the cutdown to 53 players, he was signed to the practice squad.
As a reminder, a new 2020 rule allows two players to be elevated from the practice squad without a corresponding move, meaning the Seahawks have for the weekend a 55-player roster from which to select their 48 active players Sunday. Randall and Heslop will revert to the practice squad on Monday.