Seattle Seahawks

Part of why Michael’s now a Packer: Troymaine Pope signed to active roster

Seattle Seahawks running back Troymaine Pope runs the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during a preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Seattle.
Seattle Seahawks running back Troymaine Pope runs the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during a preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Seattle. AP

Seahawks fans, your summer love has returned.

Troymaine Pope is debuting on the 53-man active roster this week before Sunday’s game against Philadelphia.

The Seahawks made official on Wednesday their promotion of the popular undrafted rookie running back and rushing leader this preseason from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

Here another reason Pope’s popularity will continue to rise: Coach Pete Carroll on Wednesday compared the rookie’s running to Justin Forsett, another beloved running back who played for the Seahawks from 2008-11 and now plays for Detroit.

Pope’s arrival onto the active roster came one day after Seattle waived its rushing leader so far this season, Christine Michael.

The Green Bay Packers claimed Michael off waivers and signed him to their active roster. The Seahawks play the Packers in Green Bay on Dec. 11.

The Seahawks are lucky to have Pope. They tried to sneak him through league waivers inside the batch of final preseason cuts Sept. 3 in hopes of then signing him to their practice squad. But the New York Jets saw the same thing everyone else did this summer, that Pope can ball. The Jets claimed him and signed him to their active roster — then never used him before releasing him last month.

The Seahawks signed him to their practice squad Nov. 4.

When coach Pete Carroll explained why Michael is an ex-Seahawk for the second time in 14 months, one of the reasons was the rookie from Jacksonville State who is now wearing No. 43.

“It’s really about the guys coming in to the opportunity,” Carroll said. “C.J. (Prosise) did a really good job; he’s doing the things that we like seeing in him, and we’re looking forward to continuing to grow with him. That’s one. Thomas (Rawls, out since Sept. 18 with a cracked fibula) is coming back ready to play. That’s two, and we’re really excited about that. We’ve all been waiting to see that happen. He has to get through the week and all, but he’s really in great shape and ready to go, so we anticipate that he’ll play (Sunday) and will be significantly involved.

“We really have liked Pope from the time we had him. We missed out on getting him back when we had him, we released him at camp and we’re disappointed in that. Now that we have him back and he’s in the fold, we’re anxious to see what he can do. That’s why we did that.”

Pope still has finer points to master before he shares much of Rawls’ and Prosise’s playing time.

“Coming back to us, we liked his vision, we liked his balance, we liked his feet, all those things,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. “He’s a really good part of the run game, so we think he’s really sharp in that area. He’s still getting up to speed a little bit with the protections and those kinds of things, but in the run game we’re really excited to have him.”

EXTRA POINTS

Tight end Jimmy Graham got another in what are becoming regular days off from practice between games to rest his surgically repaired knee. … Carroll said Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett is targeting the Nov. 27 game at Tampa Bay to return from arthroscopic knee surgery two weeks ago. Bennett played for the Buccaneers from 2009 through ’12 before the Bucs let him sign with Seattle. … Carroll said the Seahawks signed free-agent defensive tackle John Jenkins, cut last week by New Orleans, “to upgrade the pass rush a little bit. We think we can get a little bit more out of John Jenkins. We’re anxious to see what he can do for us and we’ll see how that works out.”

Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle

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