Head coach Pete Carroll announced Saturday that Bowie would require surgery to repair an injured shoulder. He is expected to miss 4-6 months due to the injury.
"He’s going to have to get some work on his shoulder, it’s just coming out today," Carroll said. "It’s a significant shoulder surgery that’s going to come up, so we’re going to miss him."
So why did the Seahawks waive a player that started eight games for them as a rookie last season?
Players will less than four years of service time cannot be placed straight on injured reserve during the preseason. In order to be placed on injured reserve, the player has to be waived with an injured designation. At that point, other teams have the ability to claim the player even despite their injured status.
Seattle used the same process when tight end Anthony McCoy tore his Achilles in 2013 and again earlier this week with defensive tackle Jesse Williams, who suffered another knee injury.
The only way for Seattle to have moved Bowie directly to injured reserve would have been to keep him on their roster until August 26 when the first round of cuts take place across the league.
Seattle has several players nursing injuries through training camp and probably felt they needed to utilize the roster spot with someone that could actually practice. The Seahawks claimed tackle Cory Brandon off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals to fill Bowie's roster spot on Saturday.
Bowie suffered a shoulder injury in the final preseason game last year that Carroll felt was significant at the time. Instead, it wasn't as bad as initially feared and Bowie appeared in nine games last season for the Seahawks.
However, the shoulder injury resurfaced during offseason workouts and again on the first day of training camp. Carroll had said it was "tweaked" shoulder and that he should be back soon, but apparently the damage was more extensive than initially thought.
The team also wasn't happy with Bowie's weight this offseason as Carroll made a point to say that Bowie could be in better shape.
The shoulder injury could be a chronic situation that Bowie will have to fight throughout his career. While he flashed talent some talent as a rookie, he started eight games due to necessity, not due to his ability. He struggled at times but improved throughout the season.
While Seattle wanted to keep Bowie around on injured reserve if he cleared waivers, it likely wasn't worth keeping him on the roster for 23 more days until the first cuts to get him there. With second-round pick Justin Britt the likely future at right tackle for Seattle, they should be able to absorb the Bowie loss without too much issue.