Though he likely won't play until Week 6 in Pittsburgh, the Seahawks designated rookie cornerback Tre Brown to return to practice from injured reserve on Monday.
Brown, a fourth-round selection out of Oklahoma in April's draft, suffered a sprained knee during Seattle's second preseason game against Denver. After missing the tail end of training camp and the exhibition finale, the team kept him on the initial 53-man roster before placing him on injured reserve. Per league rules, he was required to miss at least three games before being activated.
Prior to injuring his knee, Brown appeared to be on the fast track to earning playing time in Seattle's secondary. Since then, the team has traded Ahkello Witherspoon to the Steelers and veteran Tre Flowers lost his starting job in favor of Sidney Jones, so the cornerback spots remain a work in progress and he could play his way back into competing for a starting role in quick order.
However, while he said Brown "could" suit up against the Rams on Thursday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll wasn't optimistic about his chances of being ready to play due to an abbreviated practice week.
"We'll see what happens. The practice format this week is not one that is set up for a guy to show his return ability and stuff to the game," Carroll said. "We'll work him out hard around the practice, but we'll see what happens."
Away from Brown's return, Carroll said earlier on Monday during his weekly radio show on ESPN 710 that tackle Brandon Shell would return to practice after missing the past two games with an ankle sprain. In his absence, Jamarco Jones and Cedric Ogbuehi started the past two games against the Vikings and 49ers, while undrafted rookie Jake Curhan has also seen action in both games.
As for rookie receiver Dee Eskridge, Carroll confirmed he would practice this week, but the Seahawks will continue to be cautious with him to ensure he's 100 percent recovered from a concussion suffered in the season opener last month. He's missed each of the past three games and was cleared from concussion protocol last Wednesday.
In the event Eskridge isn't able to play against the Rams, veteran receiver Phillip Dorsett could be a candidate to elevate from the practice squad to the game day roster on Thursday. He re-signed with the team last week after being released by the Jaguars.
In additional injury news, Seattle may also have significant injury concerns with their pass rush heading into Thursday's critical NFC West matchup. Darrell Taylor and Carlos Dunlap both exited Sunday's win in Santa Clara with ankle and toe injuries respectively and based on Carroll's comments on Monday, both players sound questionable to play and will likely be game-time decisions.
After sitting out the past two weeks with a neck issue, Benson Mayowa's status still remains unclear as well, opening the door for the team to be missing three of their top edge rushers on Thursday.
"Darrell [Taylor] we'll see. He's got a little ankle something we're checking out. Benson [Mayowa] is gonna practice, we've got to see if he's safe to go. We'll determine that," Carroll said. "I don't know about Carlos [Dunlap], he's got a sore toe, so he's like a bear with a thorn in his foot. Gotta see if he can make it, but he might be a little grumpy about it. I don't know."
If there's a sliver of positive news for the Seahawks, Carroll believes "there's a chance" tight end Gerald Everett could be off the reserve/COVID-19 list in time to play against his former team on Thursday, though he admitted the next couple days will be critical as he undergoes further testing to see if he's cleared. Receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett also made it out of Sunday's win without their respective injuries getting worse and should be good to go against the Rams.