D.J. Fluker

Remembering D.J. Fluker’s best moments as a Seattle Seahawk

Remembering D.J. Fluker’s best moments as a Seattle Seahawk

Over the weekend, the Seattle Seahawks shook up their offensive line and released beloved starter D.J. Fluker

Fluker has been a fan favorite since signing with the Seahawks in 2018. He’s one of the most rugged and physical offensive linemen on the field, but it’s his goofy and charismatic personality that makes him so adored by the 12s. 

A personal note: Fluker would always take the time after every press conference to walk around to each media member, shake their hands and thank them for their time. That kindness will go a long way for him as he finds his next NFL home. 

Seahawks fans will certainly miss Fluker’s presence. Let’s take a look at some of his best off-the-field moments.

After Russell Wilson and Ciara put out the infamous “hey Seattle, we got a deal,” video from the bedroom following Wilson’s massive contract extension, Fluker and Tyler Lockett decided to reenact the moment themselves.

In the video, a shirtless Lockett recites back Wilson’s line and then the blanket next to him drops to reveal Fluker with “Go Hawks!” 

During the 2019 offseason, Fluker quickly learned that big guys do not fit in small spaces when the 6-foot-5, 340 pounder got stuck in his friend’s smart car

The experience was traumatic for Fluke, hints why he didn’t want to talk about it in his recent takeover of the Seahawks Instagram, but the epic moment will live on as one of Fluker’s best moments. 

At Carolina last season, Fluker and quarterback Russell Wilson made one Seahawks fan’s day extremely special. Eli, 7, received a wristband from Wilson while Fluker signed the young boy’s helmet after the game. 

“He hasn’t taken it off since the game,” Eli’s mom shared in a post.  

Last February while sidelined with a hamstring injury, Fluker decided to get creative and star in a music video with his fiancé. The moment went viral on social media. 

“The best thing about me is me being myself,” Fluker said in the video.

That’s right, Fluke. That is the best thing about you, and you will be missed in Seattle.

 

Listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks podcast with Joe Fann below: 

Breaking: D.J. Fluker released by Seattle Seahawks

Breaking: D.J. Fluker released by Seattle Seahawks

A bit of surprising news out of Seattle this weekend as the Seahawks have released starting guard DJ Fluker. 

The news was broken by Fluker himself, who took to social media to thank the 12s for his two seasons in Seattle.

The move saves the Seahawks nearly $3.7 million in cap space, while resulting in just $500,000 of dead cap.

Financially, it makes sense, not to mention the Seahawks drafted a player over the weekend that was to compete with Fluker for the starting spot: LSU's Damien Lewis.

Said our Seahawks Insider Joe Fann after the pick of Lewis, "Lewis will be strictly a right guard for the Seahawks, and Carroll confirmed that he’ll compete against D.J. Fluker to start immediately. Cutting Fluker at the end of camp would only cost Seattle $500,000 in dead cap space, which makes the competition at right guard very legit and not just Carroll-speak."

(Lewis) won’t take a backseat to anybody. He’s going to come in and battle for it. That’s part of the reason we took him. We want him to come in and battle to play. All of that competition will make us better. - Pete Carroll

Well, the competition just got a little bit easier. Lewis has been handed the starting guard spot, it's just a matter of taking advantage of the opportunity in front of him.

As for Fluker, the 6"5', 342lb lineman recently turned 29 and has plenty of gas left in the tank. He should garner plenty of interest on the open market. 

But one thing is for sure, the 12s loved Fluker and they made sure to let him know on social media:

Seahawks guard D.J. Fluker wants to work at Microsoft post-football

Seahawks guard D.J. Fluker wants to work at Microsoft post-football

D.J. Fluker is one of the liveliest personalities on the Seahawks.

The 340-pound guard embodies the physicality and toughness of the Seahawks up front, but it’s his fun-loving charisma that makes him one of the team’s most beloved players.

On Twitter Tuesday, Fluker hosted a Q&A with the 12s. He answered questions on everything from his favorite meal to where he got his dance moves. Don’t think we forgot about his viral music video last season. 

Here’s a quick recap of some of his responses:

Fluker also revealed what career he'd like to pursue post-football. He hopes to put his degree at Alabama to work and use his years of experience to help people and businesses. 

“My passion, like after football, probably working at Microsoft, you know,” Fluker said. “I have good leadership skills, being able to interact people, I have good people skills as well.”

The late Paul Allen would approve. 

To hear more from Fluker, head on over to the Seahawks Twitter account to check out his responses. 

Could the Seattle Seahawks feature the NFL's best offensive line?

Could the Seattle Seahawks feature the NFL's best offensive line?

RENTON, Wash. - At this time last season the Seattle Seahawks' offensive line created a sense of dread regarding the 2018 season after the pitiful performance the group had put forth in 2017 and with the only addition being a seemingly average guard from a bad New York Giants team. 

That feeling is antithetical to the vibe surrounding the crew one year later. 

Seattle shockingly led the NFL in rushing last season and gave quarterback Russell Wilson the protection he needed to throw for a career-high 35 touchdown passes while Seattle went 10-6 to reach the playoffs. Four of the five starters from that group remain with only J.R. Sweezy, acquired last year during training camp, having moved on by signing with Arizona. Replacing him will be veteran Mike Iupati, who has also worked with Seattle offensive line coach Mike Solari and spent last season with the Cardinals. 

The 80 percent retention coupled with the addition of Iupati has left tackle Duane Brown believing that Seattle might become more dominant upfront. 

“I think him being in a system with Solari had some rapport with him and with the system and the terminology and everything," Brown said. "And I’m so happy we got him. I’ve been a big fan of his throughout the years, watching him play in San Francisco and Arizona. I mean, our line has the chance to be the best in the league. I think if we keep everyone healthy, the talent that we have, the mixture of youth and experience that we have, we have the chance to really be great and Mike has been a great addition for us.”

Those are lofty expectations but not at all completely unrealistic. Leading the NFL in rushing last season is a great place to start. What might keep this line from being hailed as the league's best, however, is the lack of Pro Bowl players. Brown made the Pro Bowl with Houston before the Texans traded him to Seattle during the 2017 season. Not one Seahawks lineman reached the Pro Bowl last season despite the team leading the league in rushing. Sweezy was named as an alternate. 

For Seattle to earn "best in the league" status it must see continued improvement from center Justin Britt and right tackle Germain Ifedi. The other projected starter at guard is D.J. Fluker, the lone new addition to the team last spring. He added nastiness and a veteran presence to the group that helped transform the line into a nasty, ground churning unit. 

That's a heck of a solid starting five and one that should at least have Seattle near the top of the rushing category once again. 

"You saw the production we had throughout the year, and this year, being a year better for it, this time of the year is about getting the information, getting back up to speed on things," Brown said. "And we haven’t missed a beat."

Another new addition to the group is rookie guard Phil Haynes, a fourth-round pick out of Wake Forest. Brown said Haynes has fit in well and appears to be a quick learner. 

"He’s catching on pretty quickly," Brown said. "He’s got a great demeanor. A lot of times, this kind of atmosphere can be overwhelming, being given so much information, the speed right now, you’re not used to practicing without pads on so fast and everything’s happening so quickly, but he’s handling everything well. Today he was in there with the ones and played next to me and communicated great."

He will have to learn quickly to keep up with a deep group of players that are looking forward to a second year together under Solari and blocking for Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny. Seattle might not become the very best, but it should continue to give the Seahawks a chance to run the ball well enough to make another run at the playoffs. 

"We’re communicating and everything well," Brown said of the benefits of entering year two as a group. "No one’s confused out there. I think once we get the pads on, the amount of physicality we’ll play with will be demoralizing for defenses, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Seattle Seahawks guard D.J. Fluker gets stuck in friend’s smart car

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Seattle Seahawks guard D.J. Fluker gets stuck in friend’s smart car

In his seventh season in the NFL, Seattle Seahawks right guard D.J. Fluker is still learning. However, one of the most valuable lessons the 6-foot-5, 340 pounder took away recently, didn’t occur on the football field.

“Big guys do not fit in tiny spaces. Does not work for me,” Fluker told 710 ESPN Seattle.

The offensive lineman recently hopped in his friend’s tiny smart car following a workout at Destination Dallas in Texas. All was well, until it wasn’t— Fluker quickly realized he was stuck in the car and went into full survival mode.

“I get in there — I had to go one foot at a time, I had to suck my stomach in a little bit, I’m like ‘God!’, my arm’s sitting on the passenger’s side,” Fluker said of the traumatic experience. “I finally got in there and I tried to crank it up,” But see what happened was, my knees were literally on the dashboard, so I can’t even touch the pedal. Then you talk about getting out of it? I closed the door and then I got stuck, so I took about 10 minutes to get out of it.”

He continued: “I literally had to stick my head out of the sunroof to get under it and then lay out on the ground to get out of it.”

And in one of those, "pics or it didn't happen" moments, the Seahawks somehow managed to capture a photo of it all going down. 

Some lessons do truly have to be learned through experience.

Now that the Seahawks guard has received a two-year, $9 million deal to remain in Seattle, here's to hoping he sets his sights on a more fitting set of wheels.  

Seattle Seahawks Draft Preview - Is another young offensive lineman is needed?

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USA Today

Seattle Seahawks Draft Preview - Is another young offensive lineman is needed?

Part 3 in an eight-part series that takes a position-by-position look at the Seattle Seahawks' needs heading into the NFL Draft on April 25-27. 

Past posts: Quarterbacks; Running backs

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Today: Offensive line. 

Depth Chart: LT: Duane Brown, George Fant; LG: Mike Iupati, Ethan Pocic; Center: Justin Britt, Joey Hunt,; RG: D.J. Fluker, Jordan Simmons; RT: Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Jamarco Jones. 

Need: Medium. 

Expectations: Seattle will likely add a young offensive lineman to the mix if it acquires additional picks via trace. 

Potential targets: Ashley Young provides a list of potential draft targets at offensive line.   

Picks: The Seahawks have four picks in round one (No. 21), round three (No. 84), round four (No. 124) and round five (No. 159).

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The top story of 2018 for Seattle was the play of the offensive line under new position coach Mike Solari. Seattle went from having one of NFL's most mediocre lines and run games in 2017 to trotting out the leading rushing attack in all the land last season.  

So why on earth would the team need more young offensive lineman? Well, the Seahawks probably don't need anyone for for 2019 but it wouldn't hurt to add a young talent along the line to develop for the future. 

Brown is 33 and Iupati is about to turn 32. Fluker is just 28 but is on a two-year deal. There are plenty of young offensive lineman on the roster making acquiring one not a major need. Ifedi, a first-round pick in 2016, is about to turn 25. Pocic, a second-round pick in 2017, is just 23. Fant is 26. Simmons, who filled in amazingly for Fluker last season when he missed a couple of games, is only 24. 

That all said, Seattle, under general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll, has selected an offensive linemen in every draft since 2011 except for the 2012 draft. The Seahawks chose tackle Jamarco Jones in the fifth round last year. 

It certainly would be unusual for Seattle not to select at least one lineman this week. So while this isn't a great area of need and there are plenty of young bodies already in place, expect Seattle to add another to the group. The only reason they wouldn't is if the Seahawks remain with only the four selections. But who truly believes that will be the case?

Seattle Seahawks injury report for Arizona Cardinals

Seattle Seahawks injury report for Arizona Cardinals

Seattle coach Pete Carroll told reporters today that the playoffs looming next week would not impact his decisions regarding which players on the injury report would play or sit in Sunday's final regular season game against Arizona at CenturyLink Field. 

“It has nothing to do with that,” Carroll insisted. 

Seattle (8-6) plans to go all out against the Cardinals (3-12) even though the Seahawks have already wrapped up a playoff berth. Carroll has said all week that maintaining momentum and continuing to play good football is more important than worrying about who could get injured. Plus, the team does have something to play for given that a loss and a Minnesota win over Chicago would drop Seattle from the No. 5 seed to the No. 6 seed. 

"We’re ready to finish with a bang here," Carroll said. "We’ve got to play a really good football game. We’ve had a hard time with the Cardinals in years past and we’ve got to make sure we take care of business and play good football to give ourselves a chance. We’ll see what happens.”

As of Friday, Seattle's injury report seemed to be quite favorable. Not one player is listed as out and only left guard J.R. Sweezy (foot) is listed as being doubtful but according to Carroll he will sit out Sunday's game.  

“Sweezy improved during the week," Carroll said. "He got really good, consistent information in the checks that we made around the country on what he has. It’s an unusual little thing that he’s dealing with. It’s real uncomfortable. He’s got some swelling that he’s dealing with. It’s probably a 3-4 week recovery for most people and he’s going to do it in two weeks. He’ll be ready next week.”

Listed as questionable are right guard D.J. Fluker (hamstring), safety Bradley McDougald (knee), defensive end Dion Jordan (knee), safety Tedric Thompson (knee) and running back Rashaad Penny (knee).

“Fluke is a gameday (decision) but he’s made real progress this week and he did some things that helped him so we’re looking forward to him being ready to go if he can make it through the Sunday workout,” Carroll said.

As for Penny?

“He practiced all week and we’ll find out and make sure," Carroll said. "He’ll have a workout on Sunday, also."

It appears that Thompson could be a no-go.

“He’s got an irritation in the back of his ankle, kind of around his Achilles," Carroll said. "It’s not an Achilles injury, but we thought it was for a little bit. He just hasn’t quite made it through it to our satisfaction yet, but he’s going to try and (we will) take a look at him on Sunday.”

What's likely to happen is that with each player that is questionable and/or a gameday decision, Carroll will likely error on the side of caution. Why push someone like Fluker out there against the Cardinals if he's only 80 percent healthy when Seattle will most certainly need him against in the playoffs against Dallas or Chicago, which both feature top 10 rushing defenses?

Injury status of several Seattle Seahawks remains uncertain

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USA Today

Injury status of several Seattle Seahawks remains uncertain

Seattle's injury report today certainly came in a lot lighter than it did on Wednesday with several players returning to practice in preparation for Sunday night's game against Kansas City at CenturyLink Field. 

Wide receiver Doug Baldwin (hip), cornerback Shaquill Griffin (hip) and defensive end Dion Jordan (knee) all returned to practice on Thursday after not practicing at all on Wednesday. Safety Maurice Alexander (concussion) and defensive end Frank Clark returned to limited participation. 

Still not practicing are right guard D.J. Fluker (hamstring), running back Rashaad Penny (knee), safety Bradley McDougald (knee), safety Tedric Thompson (chest and ankle) and defensive tackle Jarran Reed (oblique and groin).

With offensive lineman Jordan Simmons having been placed on injured reserve with a knee sprain, maybe the most needed player to return off of the injured list is Fluker, who has missed the team's last two games. 

“I just talked to him out there on the field during walkthrough and he’s going to try to find out what he can do at the end of the week," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "We’re not going to know until the end of the week. That’s why all the questions are still out there about what we’re doing at guard."

The same can be said for McDougald and linebacker K.J. Wright, who has missed 11 games this season but did participate in limited practice on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

“He’s practicing, so he’s ready to go today and we’ll just go one day at a time," Carroll said of Wright. "Really excited about him getting the chance to get back out there, of course, and he looks so good on the field. He’s a monster out there so it’s great to see him and Bobby (Wagner) lining up together. We’ll see if we can carry that throughout the week.”

Penny is a bigger question mark. 

“It’s uncertain though if he can get back, we don’t know yet," Carroll said. "He’s really determined to try to make it back so that Friday is the day he can go for it – show that he can run and get going. He’s been really diligent about his rehab, so we’ll see what happens."

Seattle picked up running back Bo Scarbrough as insurance this week.

"We’re serious about running the football and this guy is a guy that gives us an attack mentality and a physical aspect of it in the event that maybe we are coming up short here," Carroll said. "I think we realized it during the game last week when a couple guys got banged a couple of times and then all of a sudden, you’re down to your last running back. Those guys (Chris Carson and Mike Davis) were fine and all that, but it just reminded us of the sense of urgency. We’re hoping Rashaad is back and we will see what happens.”

Penny and Wright out for Seattle, Baldwin to return

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Penny and Wright out for Seattle, Baldwin to return

Seattle rookie running back Rashaad Penny and linebacker K.J. Wright have been ruled out for Sunday's game at San Francisco but wide receiver Doug Baldwin will play, according to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. 

Penny injured his knee during the team's 21-7 win over Minnesota on Monday night and Wright has been hindered by a knee injury for much of the season. Safety Maurice Alexander (concussion) is also listed as being out.

“(Penny) came out of the game last week with a sore knee and it didn’t respond quickly enough to get back for this week, so we’re going to leave him so he can get treated over the weekend,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll told reporters.

Seattle (8-5) can clinch a playoff berth with a win over the 49ers (3-10). 

Right guard D.J. Fluker, who missed Monday's game with a hamstring injury, is listed as doubtful. Seattle has done well twice this season with Jordan Simmons starting in place of Fluker by rushing for over 200 yards at the Los Angeles Rams and against the Vikings. 

Baldwin, who also missed Monday's game, is listed as questionable with a hip injury but should play.

"Doug did really well," Carroll said. "He practiced, made it through it today. He did fine. It looks like he’s playing.”

Safety Bradley McDougald (knee) and defensive tackle Jarran Reed (Oblique) are also listed as questionable.

Carroll said that Wright, who has appeared in just three games this season, is progressing.

"He got reps today," Carroll said. "This was the most he’s had. We’ll check in with him in the morning to see how he recovers and comes back from that. It’s really important how he recovers. We’re going to leave him home so that he can really work hard on it so next week he can have a chance to practice on Wednesday and we’ll just take it one day at a time and see how he goes. He’s optimistic about it and we are, but we really won’t know until the end of next week where he is.” 

Seahawks could be shorthanded Sunday at the Rams

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USA Today

Seahawks could be shorthanded Sunday at the Rams

Seattle is heading into an already difficult matchup this Sunday at the Los Angeles Rams. Factor in that running back Chris Carson and guard D.J. Fluker are banged up and getting a win at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum could prove to be a downright impossible task.

Both remained out of practice for a third consecutive day after each left last week's loss to the Chargers at home early. Carson is nursing a hip injury. Fluker's calf is bothering him.  

Safety Neiko Thorpe (groin) and defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (foot) returned to practice today after missing Wednesday and Thursday.

Linebacker K.J. Wright (knee) and safety Bradley McDougald (knee) were limited in practice today after being held out of the first two practices of the week.  

Seattle coach Pete Carroll told reporters that Carson has gotten better but his availability on Sunday he would be a game-time decision. Same with Fluker.

"We’ve got to hold him out the whole time and see how he does when we work him out at the stadium,” Carroll said. 

In fact, it appears that most guys on the injured list will be evaluated prior to the game, including McDougald and Wright. 

“We’re just going to make sure – any of the guys who are coming back this late, we’ve got to make sure that the work that they did today doesn’t set them back so in essence, we’re waiting until game day but he looked pretty good and got enough done," Carroll said. 

Carson has been battling minor to major injuries much of the season and missed the team's game at Arizona. He is listed at 5-foot-11, 215 pounds, but plays like he is another 25 pounds thicker. 

“The soft tissue thing’s kind of hanging with him a little bit," Carroll said earlier in the week. "This hip thing is still kind of there and we’ve got to wait and see how he comes out at the end of the week. Those are concerns, so the managing of the running back who is getting the big load of plays is always in our mentality."

Should Carson not be able to go, the Seahawks will turn to Mike Davis, who in Carson's absence at the Cardinals rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. 

"Mike is ready," Carroll said. "He has been a guy that has just been on the ready whenever we call on him. He’s got a great attitude about it. If that was the case, (we have) C.J. (Prosise) there as well to complement with Rashaad (Penny). We have a good group. We have some depth there that we feel comfortable with, but Mike in particular did a very nice job again this week. He’s ready to roll.”