Sports

NFL: Seahawks cut roster to 75

The Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday trimmed their roster from 80 to a league-mandated 75, placing long snapper Tyler Schmitt and offensive tackle William Robinson on injured reserve; placing linebacker Will Herring on the physically unable to perform list; and releasing cornerback Omare Lowe and wide receiver Joel Filani.

The biggest surprise was the designation of Schmitt, the team’s sixth-round draft pick who was supposed to be the answer for the myriad problems the Seahawks had at the position last season.

Schmitt injured his back in the preseason opener against Minnesota, forcing the team to sign Tim Lindsey, whose honeymoon was cut short by his signing. Now, it appears, Lindsey has the job.

Herring has been unable to practice for all of training camp because of a condition that makes his joints swell. He will have to miss the first six games of the regular season, then has three weeks to practice with the team to determine if he is healthy enough to play. If he is not, he will be placed on injured reserve. Herring’s designation virtually secures a spot for rookie David Hawthorne.

Robinson suffered a high ankle sprain against Minnesota. Lowe gave up the two-point conversion on Monday night, which turned out to be the deciding points in an 18-17 loss to the San Diego Chargers.

After Friday’s preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders, they must pare their roster to the 53 players with whom they will start the season in Buffalo on Sept. 7.

Here is a look at some of the other decisions coach Mike Holmgren and general manager Tim Ruskell have to make:

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks

Average kept past six seasons: 2.8

In: Matt Hasselbeck, Seneca Wallace, Charlie Frye.

Long shot: Dalton Bell.

Comment: Frye increased his value with strong showing Monday night against San Diego.

Running backs

Average kept past six seasons: 5.2

In: Julius Jones, Maurice Morris, Leonard Weaver, Owen Schmitt.

On the bubble: T.J. Duckett, Justin Forsett.

Long shot: David Kirtman.

Comments: Mike Holmgren made it sound as if Duckett is in after he played well in San Diego. Forsett has had two strong preseason games but faltered against the Chargers, fumbling once. Still, he is a strong special teams player.

Tight ends

Average kept past six seasons: 3.

In: John Carlson, Will Heller, Jeb Putzier.

Long shot: Joe Newton.

Comments: Newton is probably headed back to the practice squad. He is too small right now to be an effective blocker.

Wide receivers

Average kept past six seasons: 5.5.

In: Deion Branch, Nate Burleson, Bobby Engram, Courtney Taylor.

On the bubble: Ben Obomanu, Jordan Kent, Logan Payne, Michael Bumpus

Long shots: Trent Shelton, Bryan Gilmore.

Comment: Because of injuries to Branch and Engram, they will have to keep more than the average, perhaps even seven, though Branch is eligible for the physically unable to perform list. Kent should have played his way onto the roster with a strong preseason. Obomanu is solid. Payne has been below average in the games.

Offensive line

Average kept past six seasons: 8.8

In: Walter Jones, Mike Wahle, Rob Sims, Chris Spencer, Steve Vallos, Ray Willis, Sean Locklear, Mansfield Wrotto.

On the bubble: Floyd Womack, Kyle Williams.

Long shots: Ben Claxton, Pat Murray, Nick Jones, Samuel Gutekunst.

Comments: Because of an injury to Sean Locklear, Womack is almost assured of making the team. Williams is probably headed to the practice squad. If they keep Womack, Forsett and Payne, that gives the offense two more players than Holmgren usually likes to keep.

DEFENSE

Defensive line

Average kept past six seasons: 9.3.

In: Brandon Mebane, Rocky Bernard, Red Bryant, Lawrence Jackson, Patrick Kerney, Darryl Tapp, Craig Terrill.

On the bubble: Baraka Atkins, Howard Green, Jason Babin, Chris Cooper, Larry Tripplett.

Long shots: Nu’u Tafisi, Kevin Brown.

Comments: Green has played well enough to earn a spot, and so too has Babin, really. They would probably like to keep 10 but injuries on offense may mean somebody has to be sacrificed. Atkins has not been overly impressive but is a fourth-round pick and three years younger than Babin. Cooper and Tripplett have been injured for most of training camp.

Linebackers

Average kept past six seasons: 7.2.

In: Lofa Tatupu, Leroy Hill, Julian Peterson, D.D. Lewis, Lance Laury.

On the bubble: David Hawthorne.

Long shot: Dallas Sartz.

Comment: Mike Holmgren threatened to keep only six last year; he may do it this year. Hawthorne has earned a spot. Sartz may be a practice squad player.

Defensive backs

Average kept past six seasons: 8.4.

In: Marcus Trufant, Kelly Jennings, Deon Grant, Brian Russell, Josh Wilson, Jordan Babineaux, C.J. Wallace, Kevin Hobbs.

On the bubble: Jamar Adams.

Long shots: Kelin Johnson, Marquis Floyd.

Comments: They’d like to keep Adams as the ninth but the injury issues on offense may prevent that. Adams is likely headed to the practice squad.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Average kept past six seasons: 3.

In: Tim Lindsey.

On the bubble: Olindo Mare, Brandon Coutu, Ryan Plackemeier, Reggie Hodges.

Comment: Plackemeier is the choice at punter. The kicking competition is extremely tight. Coutu hurt his chances by getting injured last week, but Mare didn’t help himself by missing a 50-yarder in San Diego.

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