Talk about the long, strange trip a football career can be.
A few days ago, Landon Cohen was living and working in Spartanburg, S.C., hoping that football might again beckon but also knowing there was a chance he’d played the last game of his life.
Tuesday, he took part in a practice with the defending Super Bowl champion — and the team favored to win it again.
Cohen, a 28-year-old, six-year veteran, was signed as a free agent on Monday to add depth at defensive tacle. Specifically, he will add depth at the spot that had been played by Jordan Hill, who on Tuesday was placed on Injured Reserve with a pulled calf. Demarcus Dobbs, now healthy, will likely take over for Hill on Saturday against the Panthers. But in the always-compete world of the Seahawks, you never know and Cohen could find himself playing in a playoff game.
Cohen said what happens, he was taking it all in stride.
Asked if it felt a little surreal to suddenly be in the locker room of the defending Super Bowl champs, he said: “I guess so. I wouldn’t describe it as that. I just show up, go out to practice and ready to work, you know?”
That’s what football players do.
Cohen also has been here before.
He was a Seahawk for a few days in 2011, signed at the time of the final cutdown and then released shortly afterward, never playing in a game.
“A cup of coffee,” Cohen called it.
A seventh-round pick of the Lions in the 2008 draft, he played in 20 games with four starts with Detroit, but was released after training camp in 2010. He then spent time with Jacksonville, New England, Dallas and Chicago from 2010-13, but was out of football in 2012. He has 46 tackles in six years, starting eight games.
He was with Buffalo in training camp this season, but did not make the team and then returned to Spartanburg, where he was running a valet service and doing what he could to keep in football shape.
“A lot of boxing and running hills,” he said. “The usual stuff.” He also did some yoga and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
A few weeks ago, he had a tryout with the Seahawks, so he knew Seattle might be interested. After finding out about Hill’s injury, the team called Cohen on Sunday and offered a spot.
Asked what the team saw in Cohen, coach Pete Carroll said: “Landon was a very active player. We had our eye on him. We’ve had him in earlier in the year when we had potential opportunities to get him on the roster so because of his activity, his similar to the way Jordan played and so we saw that connection. He will get a chance. We will see how he does. We don’t know how he’s going to do. He’s been out all year so Demarcus would jump into that spot and then we would let Landon compete and see what happens and we will take it one day at a time.”
Cohen says he feels like he’s “in good shape” but that being in good football shape is “a lot different” so he was eager to see how he made it through practice Tuesday.
Whatever happens, he said he planned to enjoy every moment.
“Everything happens for a reason,” he said. “Ooh-wee come what may — that’s a saying by Bob Marley. So whatever happens, happens and I kind of play like that, I get off the ball and whatever happens, happens. We roll with that.”