In a quick reversal, Bryan Walters back on the Seahawks roster while Phil Bates waived
Bryan Walters to give Seahawks depth returning punts and kickoffs
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — Two days after being released, Bryan Walters was again a Seahawk on Monday, signed to the team’s 53-man active roster. To make room, the Seahawks waived Phil Bates.
Bates was one of seven receivers the team kept at the roster cutdown deadline, with Walters at that moment the odd man out. Two days later, the roles were reversed.
There were no injury or financial considerations involved in the move. Instead, it was apparently just some preseason roster maneuvering as the Seahawks prepare for the opener Thursday against Green Bay.
The most immediate impact could be on the return teams.
Walters was the backup to Earl Thomas as the punt returner and to Percy Harvin as the kickoff returner throughout preseason, returning four punts for 46 yards and nine kickoffs for 229.
Thomas and Harvin remain atop the depth chart for those spots. But special-teams coach Brian Schneider said Monday that Walters will be right “back in the mix’’ in the rotation of returners. Seattle likely will use multiple returners at both spots.
The punt-return job has gotten particular attention due to the decision to use Thomas, with some wondering about the risk of using such a valued defensive player in that role.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, though, has said repeatedly that is not a concern. Instead, Carroll said the issue was simply whether Thomas was the best man for the job.
Thomas appeared to clear that up with a 59-yard return against the Bears and a 17.0-yard average per return.
Schneider called Thomas’ progress as a returner “really good. It always starts on the practice field, and where he’s come from, from (the spring) to where he’s at now, he just takes it so serious and he works so hard at it that he just improves every time he’s out there.’’
Jeanpierre on injury list
The Seahawks’ first official injury list of the season included a new name — backup guard/center Lemuel Jeanpierre. Jeanpierre was listed as not participating in practice due to a neck injury.
Four others also were listed as not participating: TE Cooper Helfet (knee), RB Christine Michael (hamstring), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (hamstring) and CB Tharold Simon (knee).
Listed as limited participants were WR Kevin Norwood (ankle), CB Jeremy Lane (groin) and LB Bruce Irvin (groin).
If Jeanpierre can’t play against the Packers, backup center duties would fall to former Bellevue High star Stephen Schilling.
The injuries to Simon and Lane, the starting nickelback, could also leave the secondary thin in depth. On Saturday, Seattle acquired Marcus Burley, who can play nickel. Backup safety DeShawn Shead also has extensive experience at cornerback.
• Seattle filled out its 10-man practice squad by signing defensive end Julius Warmsley and defensive back Josh Aubrey. Aubrey played in six games for Cleveland last season. Warmsley was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in May by Houston, but was releaseed Saturday by the Texans.