Dropping an unexpected bombshell during his Wednesday press conference, coach Pete Carroll informed reporters that safety Tedric Thompson would need season-ending surgery on a torn labrum in his shoulder.
The announcement came out of left field, as Carroll indicated only two days earlier that aside from center Justin Britt tearing his left ACL, Seattle didn’t have any other significant injuries coming out of Sunday’s win in Atlanta. The third-year safety apparently had been dealing with the shoulder issue for a long time and couldn’t play through it anymore.
“It’s bothered him that much.” Carroll remarked. “We need to fix it. He’s been making it through it, and he can’t keep it going.”
The decision to have Thompson’s shoulder repaired now coincides with the return of tight end Ed Dickson, who was designated to return from injured reserve on Wednesday. But as Carroll noted, the Seahawks don’t know if the veteran will be ready to play on Sunday against the Buccaneers.
“He’s been on the walk though field so far. He’s got to get out there. He hasn’t had one day at practice in months and months. We just need to break him in and see where he is.”
While Dickson will practice and could be activated for this weekend if everything goes as planned, he’s not currently on the 53-man roster. Instead, the Seahawks added some veteran depth to their pass rush by signing Dekoda Watson to take Thompson’s spot.
Drafted in the seventh round out of Florida State way back in 2010, Watson has bounced around with six NFL teams over nine NFL seasons. He’s played in 107 career games, and though he has just four career starts under his belt, he’s played nearly 1,500 special teams snaps and registered 152 tackles.
Most recently, Watson appeared in four games for the 49ers last season and produced when healthy, recording five tackles, 2.0 sacks, and a forced fumble before landing on injured reserve for a second time in December.
During the draft in April, the Broncos dealt a fifth-round pick in exchange for the 31-year old Watson and a sixth-round pick, but he was given a pink slip in late August and hasn’t played in any games this season.
“Well, we’re hoping to give him a chance and give us some rush on the edge.” Carroll said. “He’s been a really accomplished teams guy, too. He can give us some additional boost there. We’ll see. I need to see him on the field starting today.”
Though Watson has just 6.0 sacks in his entire career, he did give the 49ers solid contributions as a situational edge rusher last season before succumbing to injury. The Seahawks have struggled to muster much of a pass rush this year and will take help anywhere they can find it.
Given Dickson’s inevitable return from injured reserve, Watson’s latest opportunity could prove to be a short one. But unlike most midseason signings, he’s a proven veteran with ample experience on defense and special teams who could help in some capacity during the short-term.