Top pick Devon Witherspoon inactive for Seahawks opener against Rams

Wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (No. 11) and cornerback Devon Witherspoon (No. 21) walk after the field after a practice with the Seattle Seahawks at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Wash. on Sept. 8, 2023. (Photo by Curtis Crabtree / F

Seattle Seahawks top draft pick Devon Witherspoon will not play in Sunday's season opener against the Los Angeles Rams as he has been declared inactive as he continues his return from a hamstring injury.

Witherspoon did not play in any of the team's three preseason games after injuring the hamstring in August. Witherspoon returned to practice this week and was listed as questionable to play before ultimately being held out.

"He did a nice job. He did a nice job getting through it," head coach Pete Carroll said of Witherspoon's week of practice on Friday. "He worked and competed, got a lot of turns, but measured the whole time. They just feel like he could possibly play so we've got his as questionable and we'll see what happens with that. We've got to do long term thinking to make sure we're taking care of our guys the best we possibly can so we'll see what we do with that."

Witherspoon also had a hamstring injury that limited him at time this summer during offseason workouts. However, Carroll has described it's a different part of the hamstring that's an issue with the most recent injury.

Mike Jackson and Tre Brown have been battling for the job at left cornerback opposite of Riq Woolen throughout the preseason. Carroll wouldn't indicate who would start on Friday, but said they'll both play. Additionally, Artie Burns was elevated from the practice squad on Saturday for additional cornerback depth.

"Everybody's going to play," he said. "Those guys have all been working really hard so everybody will get some play time."


Smith-Njigba, Walker III cleared to play for Seahawks; Witherspoon questionable

Running back Ken Walker III and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba have both been cleared to play for the Seattle Seahawks in Sunday's regular season opener against the Los Angeles Rams.

Safety Jamal Adams is out as he continues his recovery from a quadriceps tendon tear sustained in last year's season opener against the Denver Broncos. Adams and running back Kenny McIntosh were ruled out on Friday with McIntosh being placed on injured reserve on Saturday. McIntosh is recovering from a knee injury sustained in the team's mock game scrimmage in early August.

Cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly – who was claimed off waivers from the Baltimore Ravens during roster cuts last week – guards Anthony Bradford and Ben Brown, and outside linebacker Tyreke Smith are all healthy scratches for Seattle.

Linebacker Jon Rhattigan was also elevated from the practice squad on Saturday and will play for the Seahawks. 


Seattle Seahawks

CB Devon Witherspoon
CB Kyu Blu Kelly
SS Jamal Adams
G Anthony Bradford
G Ben Brown
OLB Tyreke Smith

Los Angeles Rams

QB Stetson Bennett
RB Zach Evans
OL Kevin Dotson
OL Warren McClendon
DE Desjuan Johnson