RENTON — Defensive tackle Jason Jones was placed on injured reserve Thursday by the Seahawks, a surprising move that represents a significant blow to Seattle’s depth on the defensive line.
Jones was signed this offseason from Tennessee, a former second-round pick who was coming off knee surgery. There were points in training camp when Jones experienced swelling in the knee, and had his practice regimen lessened. He missed two games earlier this season, but that was due to an ankle injury.
Jones was a backup defensive tackle whom Seattle used as a pass-rusher in its nickel defense. He had three sacks this season.
His loss comes at a time when Seattle’s depth along the line was already a bit of a question. Alan Branch, a starting defensive tackle, did not practice Wednesday because of a sore ankle, and while coach Pete Carroll said he hopes Branch will be able to play, that remains to be seen.
Rookie Greg Scruggs would start in Branch’s place if he’s unable to play.
Jones’ is the fourth player the Seahawks’ have moved to injured reserve since the regular season began, joining WR Ben Obomanu, G James Carpenter and WR Charly Martin.
The Seahawks promoted Hebron Fangupo from the practice squad to take Jones’ spot on the active roster. Rookie Jaye Howard — a fourth-round pick who has been inactive most of the year — is also available.
Jones was signed for a one-year contract so he will be a free agent after the season.
WR Bryan Walter, who attended Juanita High School, was signed to the practice squad.