Dion Jordan is back in the NFL to see what he can give the Seahawks’ pass rush.
Coach Pete Carroll said before the team got on its plane to Phoenix Wednesday that the former Miami Dolphins first-round draft choice is coming off the non-football-injury list to play Thursday night at Arizona. It will be Jordan’s first game since 2014.
“We are going to play him,” Carroll said.
Earl Thomas is doubtful to play, Carroll said. The three-time All-Pro hasn’t practiced in the two weeks since he pulled his hamstring late in the win over Houston. So Bradley McDougald is headed to another start for him at free safety.
Eddie Lacy will not play because of the strained groin he got 11 plays into last weekend’s loss to Washington. Thomas Rawls gets his chance to reclaim Seattle’s lead-back job Thursday.
Carroll said Rees Odhiambo, the Seahawks’ starting left tackle until two weeks ago when they traded for Duane Brown, is going on injured reserve. Odhiambo needs surgery to repair multiple dislocated fingers he banged and worsened in practice this week, Carroll said. The practices were as light as can be in the two days since last weekend’s loss to Washington.
Odhiambo was likely to be inactive on game days, anyway.
Seattle signed Jordan this spring but he had knee surgery to clean up damage he had leaving Miami after playing just two seasons there. The Dolphins made him the third-overall pick in 2013 but had just three sacks and one start in two seasons. Then he got suspended for the entire 2015 season for continuing to violate the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. He missed all of the 2016 season with a knee injury and multiple surgeries before Miami let him go and Seattle signed him to a one-year contract.
Thursday will be his first game since Dec. 28, 2014.
He’s gained about 30 pounds, up to 280, according Carroll, to become a sturdier end.
The Seahawks need depth on the defensive end. Michael Bennett played 92 percent of the team’s snaps last weekend with a plantar-fascia issue in his foot. Fellow Pro Bowl end Cliff Avril is on injured reserve with a neck injury. End Marcus Smith has a concussion.
Seattle signed 37-year-old Dwight Freeney last month. In two games he has three sacks, but so far has played 18 and 25 snaps in his first two appearances.
The Seahawks signed Jordan seven months ago to see if he can become what Miami thought he’d be as the third-overall pick. He began practicing two weeks ago.
Thursday Seattle will begin to find out what he has.
“Yeah, well it’s been a long haul, just with us,” Carroll said Monday. “Watching him as far set back as he was early on after he got here and then he encountered some issues that he had to deal with. We were real excited about it to start, then he had kind of some setbacks that he had deal with and he did. He did extraordinary work to make it back through all of the stages of it. As he has returned to the action the last couple of weeks, it’s been exciting to see him back out there.”
The Seahawks under Carroll have consistently added players who have run into trouble or roadblocks elsewhere – especially athletically gifted ones in search of another chance. Jordan is certainly that. If he is finally healthy and right, he could be a dynamic addition to Seattle’s pass rush for the final half of the season.
“He is still rusty and there is no way that he can’t be. When he plays for the first time, it will be like his first preseason game in two years,” Carroll said. “But he is well-equipped. He is a big, strong, fast kid and dying to play and all that stuff.
“So if this is the time we can get him back out there, we will start the process of returning to ball. He’s got a chance this week. ...
“Seen his work habits and the energy he put to working through a long recovery. A lot of guys could lose interest. He didn’t. He kept battling to get back. That is a great sign of what he has put into it. So we see a real competitive, great dude that wants to get back and prove it. All of that is impressive.”