RENTON, Wash. (AP) — New Seattle Seahawks linebacker Mychal Kendricks will play Monday night against the Chicago Bears despite his pending jail sentence.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Saturday that Kendricks would make his Seattle debut due to major injuries at linebacker. The Seahawks ruled out both of its starting linebackers, K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner, due to injuries. Wright is still a week away from returning from minor knee surgery and Wagner suffered a groin injury in Week 1.
“The background that he has and the instincts that he has and he’s been coached really well over the years, he really has a chance to pick it up really quickly and get in there and help us,” Carroll said. “He had three really good days and studied like crazy with the coaches and he’s ready to help us out.”
Kendricks playing creates an odd situation for all involved considering his guilty plea last week on insider trading charges in Philadelphia. He’s not expected to be sentenced in the case until January and the NFL has yet to impose any discipline meaning he’s eligible to play. Kendricks said Saturday he was unsure if he’d have a chance to play this season after being released by the Browns on Aug. 29.
“It’s been pretty hard. It’s been very hard. But, I’ll overcome this, and I’ll overcome just like I’ve overcome other obstacles in my life,” Kendricks said. “Like I said, I’m very blessed to have this opportunity, so I treated it as such. But, football is helping me a lot.”
Carroll said the Seahawks did extensive homework on Kendricks and there was continued contact with the league office about the potential of the roster move. Carroll said Kendricks deserves a second chance.
“We have come to learn who he is and what he’s all about and how remorseful he was and how he admitted to his mistake a long time ago,” Carroll said.
How long Kendricks is with the Seahawks will be a lingering question. The league could impose discipline at any time. Seattle also expects to have Wright and Wagner potentially back as early as Week 3 against Dallas.
“Other teams were interested, but as far as I’m concerned, the Seahawks were the ones that were most interested and that’s why I’m here,” Kendricks said.
Kendricks signed a one-year contract with the Browns in June after winning a Super Bowl title last season with the Philadelphia Eagles, and he was released by Cleveland after the charges were filed.
Federal prosecutors said Kendricks used tips from an acquaintance to make about $1.2 million in illegal profits on four major trading deals.
Prosecutors say his co-defendant, Damilare Sonoiki, was paid $10,000 in kickbacks in the scheme from 2014-2015, as well as receiving perks such as tickets to Eagles games and tagging along to a music video shoot or nightclub appearances.
Kendricks did not comment about his legal situation on Saturday.
“As of right now, I have the opportunity and I want to make the most of that,” he said.
NOTES: Seattle released veteran DT Tom Johnson and signed S Shalom Luani from the practice squad. Johnson was one of Seattle’s significant offseason signings to bolster the defensive line, but Carroll said the move was needed for depth in the secondary. Carroll said there was hope of potentially bringing Johnson back later in the season if he doesn’t sign somewhere else. … Seattle listed CB Tre Flowers (hamstring) and G D.J. Fluker (hamstring) as doubtful for Monday’s game. Flowers, a rookie, started the opener after Dontae Johnson was placed on injured reserve last week.