The Seahawks just got faster. Way faster.
As expected, Seattle activated Paul Richardson on Saturday from the physically-unable-to-perform list in time for him to make his season debut Sunday night in the NFC West showdown against Arizona. The second-round draft choice in 2014 replaces wide receiver and special-teams ace Ricardo Lockette on the active roster.
Lockette went on season-ending injured reserve Saturday, 12 days after he had surgery in Dallas to repair disc and ligament damage in his neck. Lockette got knocked unconscious on an open-field hit by Cowboys safety Jeff Heath on a punt Nov. 1. He’s been in the locker room this week wearing a neck brace and smile, hugging teammates.
Richardson said his nine-month rehabilitation following his second reconstructive knee surgery in three years has made him even faster. And he was once clocked running the 40-yard dash in 4.28 seconds.
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He said he felt ready to return two weeks ago before the win at Dallas.
“Yeah,” he said Thursday with a sigh, “I’m pretty anxious.
“I feel like, ‘Oh, OK. I’m back.’ ... Almost like I’m another piece of the puzzle.”
Quarterback Russell Wilson says it’s been a seamless transition getting Richardson back into a game plan for the first time since he made a long catch then got hurt on Wilson’s next throw to him in January’s playoff win over Carolina.
Coach Pete Carroll says Richardson will have a noticeable role Sunday night against Arizona’s aggressive secondary. It is tied for the NFL lead with 13 interceptions.
“We’re going to jump him right back in. Really, we’re going to put him right back into it,” Carroll said this week. “He’s had enough time now. He’s been out on the practice field, he looks great, so we’re just going to fit him in.”
INCREASED SECURITY AT NFL STADIUMS
The NFL released a statement Saturday concerning its games Sunday and Monday:
“The safety of our fans, stadium personnel, and teams at all NFL games is our priority, and security at our games is robust. Our procedures have been certified and designated by the Department of Homeland Security since 2008 as effective anti-terrorism technology. All NFL clubs use mandatory metal detector screening and multiple layers of perimeter security external to the stadium to safeguard fans and the stadium from explosive threats.
“Following the events in Paris on Friday, we are closely monitoring events and have been in communication with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, which have informed us that there are no known threats against NFL stadiums.
“In addition to our standard procedures described above, there will be an increased security and law enforcement presence both inside and outside stadiums in the parking lots of our stadiums this weekend. We have been in contact with clubs hosting games to reinforce our standard procedures and the league’s best practices.
“We strongly recommend that fans do not bring bags with them to the stadium. If it is essential to bring a bag, it must be in compliance with the clear bag policy which requires that it be made of clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and not exceed 12" x 6" x 12". It is important that all fans comply with these requirements, and we appreciate their efforts to cooperate with these security measures.
“The NFL and team security departments work closely with stadium operation personnel and federal, state, and local law enforcement to provide a safe experience for the more than 17 million fans who annually attend NFL games. The NFL and its teams continually evaluate and improve our comprehensive security plan.”