Michael Brooks goes from practice squad to front lines for Seahawks
With Red Bryant and Jordan Hill out with injuries, an undrafted free agent who had been released by Seattle four times since Aug. 31 finally got a chance to contribute.
Seattle Times staff reporter
ATLANTA — Members of NFL practice squads are used to living an itinerant lifestyle as teams are forced to juggle their rosters, dealing with injuries and other personnel issues that arise.
Few have experienced the ups and downs of that this season as much as Seattle defensive tackle Michael Brooks, who has been released by the Seahawks four times since Aug. 31 only to be re-signed to the practice squad.
Saturday, though, came the call that made it all worth it as Brooks was named to the active roster (taking the place of receiver Bryan Walters, who was released), called up to add depth with end Red Bryant and tackle Jordan Hill out with injuries.
“He had a fantastic week of practice,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said of Brooks, an undrafted free agent from East Carolina who the Seahawks first signed in May. “He competed so well during the week that we wanted him to get out there.”
It didn’t take long for Brooks to make the decision look good as he stopped a Steven Jackson run for no gain on the first play of his career late in the first quarter.
“Man, it was fun,” he said. “I’ve been waiting my whole life to play, and I’m just glad I got the opportunity.”
With Bryant (concussion) and Hill (biceps) out, Brooks said coaches told him early in the week there was a chance he would be signed.
“But there wasn’t anything that was a certainty,” Brooks said. “I just prepared like I was going to play. You never know what might happen in this league.”
Brooks played throughout, usually in early-down run situations, as the team was able to weather the loss of Bryant.
“I felt like, for my first time, I did pretty good,” he said.
Sherman quiet with White
Seattle’s easy win over the Falcons also helped to mute the rivalry of Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman and Atlanta receiver Roddy White. The two traded jabs throughout the team’s playoff game last January and again during the offseason.
White, who missed the last three games with ankle and hamstring injuries, returned Sunday and caught one pass for 20 yards in the first quarter, after which Sherman and White had a few words.
White, though, didn’t catch another pass. Afterward, Sherman said the two didn’t talk a whole lot.
“It was more of a disciplined ballgame, just trying to stay on our keys,’’ Sherman said. “There wasn’t a whole lot of deep passes thrown to get into any tussles. I think we had great respect for them and they had our full attention. We gave them everything we had.”
As players met at midfield after the game, Sherman asked if he could exchange jerseys with Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez, who has announced this will be his last season.
“That’s what happens when you’re an old guy and they know it’s your last run,” Gonzalez said. “He said ‘Hey, I’m probably not going to see you for a while.’ So he took the jersey. He’s on his way, He’s such a good player. I’m glad I got his jersey.”
Also trading jerseys were former UW teammates Jermaine Kearse and Desmond Trufant, who have known each other since grade school.
Kearse said Trufant initially wanted to wait to do it later, but that Kearse said “No, we are going to trade right now.”
The two matched up a few times on the field, with Kearse catching a 23-yard pass on Trufant in the second quarter.
Wilson efficient again
A week after Russell Wilson threw a season-high two interceptions, he rebounded with what was, statistically, his most efficient game of the season against the Falcons, completing 19 of 26 passes for 287 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, finishing with a season-high passer rating of 134.6.
His only real mistake was a sack in the first quarter that took Seattle out of field-goal range — the only drive until the final drive of the game on which the Seahawks didn’t score.
“Russell played a complete game,” Carroll said. “He took care of business. The one sack he took, he knows that is on him. He did a really good job across the board.”
Wilson’s passer rating for the season is now 101.8, better than the 100.0 of 2012 that was a team record.
• Seattle, already playing without six starters, lost two more during the game to injury — cornerback Brandon Browner, in the first half with a groin injury, and defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, with a hamstring in the second half.
Carroll said he didn’t know the severity of either injury.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @bcondotta.