After missing the first nine games of the season, Seahawks rookie guard Phil Haynes has been activated from the physically unable to perform list and will be eligible to play on Monday against the 49ers. To create room on the 53-man roster, the team waived receiver Gary Jennings.
Haynes, a fourth-round selection out of Wake Forest, impressed during organized team activities. A former four-year starter for the Demon Deacons, he received valuable snaps at left guard as an injury replacement for starter Mike Iupati alongside tackle Duane Brown.
But Haynes landed on the PUP list prior to the start of training camp following sports hernia surgery and wasn't activated before the season opener, forcing him to miss at least the first six weeks. He returned to practice on October 16 and Seattle needed to make a decision on whether to activate him with his three-week window set to expire on Wednesday.
The Seahawks also could have activated sixth-round pick Demarcus Christmas, but given the depth along the defensive line, it appears he will stay on the PUP list for the remainder of the season.
By activating Haynes, the Seahawks will bolster their interior line depth behind starting guards D.J. Fluker and Iupati. The team has been without Ethan Pocic, who was placed on injured reserve with a back injury, and Joey Hunt will replace Justin Britt at the starting center for the remainder of the season.
As for Jennings, it appears he’ll be hitting the waiver wire for real this time. In late September, Seattle promoted safety Adrian Colbert to the active roster and originally planned to cut the fourth-round pick in a corresponding move.
But at the last moment, the Seahawks changed their minds and instead chose to cut defensive tackle Bryan Mone, who was re-signed to the practice squad on Tuesday.
Jennings battled injuries during the offseason and upon his return, he struggled to catch up and grasp Seattle’s offense. He produced one catch for 12 yards during the preseason, leading many to speculate he could be cut before the start of the regular season.
Still, the Seahawks remained high on his potential and chose to keep the athletic 6-foot-1, 216-pound Jennings, who caught 168 passes in four seasons with the Mountaineers.
Unfortunately, Jennings wasn’t able to find his way into Seattle’s receiving rotation and wasn’t active for a single regular season game. After claiming Josh Gordon off waivers last week, the writing looked to be on the wall with eight receivers on the 53-man roster.
As it stands, the Seahawks will move forward with Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf as the starting receivers and have a ton of depth behind them with David Moore, Gordon, Jaron Brown, Malik Turner, and seventh-round pick John Ursua.