Seahawks add Murphy grad to roster
RENTON — On Saturday, Taniela Tupou’s NFL hopes were dashed.
On Monday those hopes were revived.
Two days after being waived, the Archbishop Murphy High School graduate found himself back with the Seattle Seahawks as Seattle re-signed Tupou to its 53-man roster. The undrafted rookie is listed as both a fullback and a defensive tackle.
Tupou had been part of Saturday’s cuts as the Seahawks trimmed their roster from 75 to the final 53. However, one of those 53 spots went to safety L.J. McCray, who was acquired Saturday in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers. McCray ended up failing his physical and the trade was rescinded, opening up a roster spot. The Seahawks, who didn’t keep any fullbacks on their initial roster, chose to fill the spot by bringing back Tupou.
Monday’s development is just the latest in what’s been a wild summer for Tupou. Tupou, who was a defensive tackle at the University of Washington, was invited
by the Seahawks to rookie training camp in May with the intent of converting him into a fullback. Tupou ended up impressing the Seahawks enough to earn a contract and be part of Seattle’s 90-man offseason roster.
However, Tupou’s conversion to fullback hit a snag when he suffered a broken knuckle early in training camp. Tupou was able to continue playing with a cast on his right hand, but that hindered his ability to handle the ball. As a result, Tupou spent most of his time during the preseason back on the defensive line. When the Seahawks made their final cuts, Tupou was on the list.
But just as fate intervened on Tupou’s behalf during training camp — fellow fullback hopefuls Brandon Cottom and Tre Madden suffered injuries that took them out of the competition — it was back on Tupou’s side Monday.
“He’s made a terrific transition,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “He can play on both sides of the ball. We’re excited to see him going. He’s a big, pounding fullback at 280-plus. He’s made a transition quickly. He showed it right off the bat, though, it’s wasn’t like it took him a long time, he made good statements early on so we were excited about him throughout.”
It’s possible Tupou’s time on the roster will be short-lived. The Seahawks also cut veteran fullback Will Tukuafu on Saturday. Had Tukuafu been on the roster Wednesday, his veteran contract would have been guaranteed. After Week 1, if Tukuafu is still available, Seattle could bring him back without having to guarantee his entire contract.
Seahawks name their captains
On Monday Carroll revealed the players who were voted Seattle’s captains for the 2016 season. Quarterback Russell Wilson was named the offensive captain, strong safety Kam Chancellor was named the defensive captain, and punter Jon Ryan and cornerback DeShawn Shead were named the special-teams captains. Wilson and Ryan are returning captains from last season. Chancellor was a captain in 2014, but was replaced by linebacker Bobby Wagner last season because Chancellor was holding out when the season began. Shead is a first-time captain. All the captains were chosen in a vote by the players.
Carroll confirmed that Garry Gilliam will start at left tackle. Gilliam, the starter at right tackle last season, was engaged in a position battle with free-agent signing J’Marcus Webb. Webb will serve as the back-up at both tackle positions. … Carroll said tight end Jimmy Graham, who’s recovering from a serious knee injury, is preparing as if he’s playing in Sunday’s season opener against Miami, but that the team does not have the expectation that Graham will play. … Defensive tackle Jarran Reed (toe) practiced Monday and will play Sunday. Tight end Nick Vannett (ankle) will not play Sunday, but the team hopes he’ll be ready by the following week. … Seattle announced nine players signed to its practice squad. They were: receivers Kasen Williams, Kenny Lawler, Marcus Lucas and Rodney Smith, guard Will Pericak, defensive tackle Justin Hamilton, defensive end Tylor Harris, and linebackers Kache Palacio and Jordan Tripp. TODAY
Taniela Tupou, a graduate of Archbishop Murphy High School, was signed by the Seahawks as a free agent after playing at the University of Washington.