Less than 24 hours before kickoff against the Titans at Lumen Field, the Seahawks have promoted defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche to the active roster from the practice squad.
Nkemdiche, 27, signed with Seattle as a free agent in April and impressed during the team's offseason program and beginning of training camp with his contagious energy and outstanding effort. Unfortunately, a groin injury kept him out of two weeks of camp and prevented him from playing in any preseason games, leading to his release on August 30.
After not being signed by another team, Nkemdiche agreed to rejoin the Seahawks on their 16-player practice squad and now has a chance to play in his first NFL game in nearly two full years.
A former first-round pick by the Cardinals in 2016, Nkemdiche never lived up to his draft status in the desert. He appeared in only five games as a rookie, spending most of the season as a healthy scratch on game day. After another unproductive season in 2017, he finally looked poised for a breakthrough in 2018 before suffering a torn ACL, finishing the year with 32 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 10 games.
Reporting to camp out of shape the following July, Arizona released him and he played two games for Miami before being released again. He did not play at all in 2020 before Seattle gave him another shot earlier this year.
The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Nkemdiche will provide the Seahawks with an insurance option behind starters Poona Ford and Al Woods at defensive tackle if Bryan Mone can't suit up versus the Titans. Mone, who has been nursing a sore elbow and was limited in practice all week, is listed as questionable on the team's final injury report.
In additional news, the Seahawks downgraded receiver Dee Eskridge (concussion) from doubtful to out for Sunday's game. The rookie out of Western Michigan suffered the injury on a jet sweep in the fourth quarter of last week's 28-16 win over the Colts and did not practice all week.
With Eskridge out as expected, Freddie Swain and Penny Hart should be in line for more playing time behind starters DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Hart cleared concussion protocol himself earlier in the week and returned to practice on Wednesday.