Sunday, February 25, 2018
Sports

Seahawks bring in idle Longwell to kick

RENTON, Wash. — Ryan Longwell thought he would be running a marathon on Sunday. Instead, he'll be in the playoffs, kicking for the Seahawks.

"My wife is probably the happiest person that I got called into work," the Windermere resident said Wednesday. "We were actually training all fall for the Disney marathon. So I got her out of that and got me out of it, too."

Seattle also signed DE Patrick Chukwurah. He and Longwell take the roster spots of K Steven Hauschka and DE Chris Clemons, who were placed on injured reserve.

Clemons tore his left ACL Sunday against the Redskins. Hauschka strained his calf Sunday. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Longwell beat out three others during a tryout Tuesday.

Longwell, 38, spent 15 seasons with Green Bay and Minnesota. He did not kick this season after being released by the Vikings in May. In 2011, he made 22 of 28 kicks but 6-of-10 from 40-49 yards.

"I love the pressure," Longwell said. "Hopefully for the team, it's a blowout. But I think that's something I do well: handle the situation. I'm here to help these guys win. They've had an incredible season, incredible talent and they're on a really, really impressive run. And you just want to keep it going."

Chukwurah, 33, has not played in the NFL since 2007 with the Bucs. He spent 2009 and 2010 in the UFL with the Florida Tuskers.

"I came here with the mind-set that if this was going to be my last shot, to give it all that I've got," Chukwurah said. "I was really set on just moving on and starting the next chapter, so this is just a blessing."

Falcons: DE John Abraham, who sustained a left ankle injury in the regular-season finale against the Bucs, and S William Moore, out since Nov. 29 with a hamstring injury, were limited in practice. But coach Mike Smith said he expects both to play Sunday.

49ers: DE Justin Smith practiced for the first time since partially tearing his left triceps Dec. 16 against New England. He wore a brace, and when asked if Smith will play Saturday, coach Jim Harbaugh said, "God willing and the creek don't rise, he will play." … Harbaugh declined to say who will kick between struggling veteran David Akers and newly signed Billy Cundiff. He said it might be a game-time decision.

Packers: WR Jordy Nelson and WR Randall Cobb missed practice but should be ready for Saturday. Nelson is nursing an "ongoing" ankle injury, but coach Mike McCarthy said he hopes the receiver will practice today. Cobb was sent home with the flu, the latest Packer to get sick. "It's just that time of year here," McCarthy said. "But our doctors feel confident everybody will be ready for the game." … RB James Starks practiced for the first time since sustaining a knee injury Dec. 2 against the Vikings. McCarthy said he expects Starks to play but doesn't know how much.

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