Branden Jackson Heads to Injured Reserve, Career Could Be in Doubt

Knocked out and taken to the hospital via ambulance during Seattle's first mock scrimmage earlier this month, Jackson has now been ruled out for the entire 2020 season and it remains unknown if he will be able to resume his career.
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Less than two weeks after being transported to the hospital after being knocked out cold in the Seahawks first mock scrimmage, veteran defensive end Branden Jackson has been placed on injured reserve and will miss the remainder of the 2020 season.

In a corresponding move to fill his spot on the 80-man roster, Seattle re-signed defensive end Pita Taumoepenu, who participated in Sunday's final mock game.

According to coach Pete Carroll, the 28-year old Jackson is dealing with a spinal condition similar to former Seahawks stars Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor that "makes it possibly dangerous" for his long-term health to play. Doctors advised the team and player that he should not return to the field this season and he will be re-evaluated at a later time to see if he can resume playing.

"We're erring on the side of long-term health and taking care of our guys," Carroll said following Sunday's practice, "We had a good meeting and talked our way through it and all of that."

Breaking into the league as an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech, Jackson joined the Seahawks practice squad early in the 2017 season. When Avril went down, he eventually earned a promotion to the active roster and has appeared in 36 games over the past three seasons, registering 41 tackles and 3.5 sacks during that span.

One of Seattle's most respected players on the roster by teammates and coaches alike, Carroll told reporters he asked Jackson to "stay around as long as he wants to" and remain part of the team regardless of what happens.

"He is a great team guy," Carroll remarked. "We love him on our team and he's got such spirit, he's got great versatility to his play, but he's been such a great guy in this locker room. We're gonna miss him."

Previously a sixth-round pick for the 49ers in 2017, the 26-year old Taumoepenu has appeared in six NFL games, recording three tackles. He spent the final two months of the 2019 season on the Seahawks practice squad and given his familiarity with the team's scheme, he was an ideal pickup late in camp to help replace Jackson on the depth chart.

Along with Jackson being placed on injured reserve, Carroll provided several other injury updates following Sunday's scrimmage.

  • The Seahawks hope to have several receivers back in action when they return to practice after Monday's off day, including Phillip Dorsett, who missed all of the past week with a sore foot. If all goes well, Carroll anticipates he will come back in "limited fashion" on Tuesday, while Cody Thompson and John Ursua should have an excellent chance to suit up as well.
  • Two of Seattle's draft picks - tight end Colby Parkinson and defensive end Darrell Taylor - have yet to practice yet as they remain on the Non-Football Injury List. Carroll believes "it's possible" Parkinson could be back in the near future from foot surgery, indicating this upcoming week will be critical for him to have a chance to be ready for Week 1. As for Taylor, he's been away from the team for a few days for the birth of a child and he's still "a few weeks away" from returning to practice after offseason surgery to repair a stress fracture in his leg. He's "steeped in rehab," per Carroll, making it unlikely he will be activated from the NFI to open the season.
  • On the sidelines for Sunday's scrimmage with a mild sprained ankle, Tre Flowers didn't participate. The injury doesn't sound serious and he could be back as quickly as Tuesday's practice.
  • Carroll didn't provide a timetable for Benson Mayowa to return to play after being sidelined the past two practices, simply saying he's been "banged up."
  • Tackle Cedric Ogbuehi "banged up his shoulder" during the scrimmage and Carroll couldn't elaborate on the extent of the injury.