Sports

Dancing, shadowboxing Ziggy Ansah full go, 9 Seahawks starters miss or limited in practice

Ziggy Ansah sure looks ready to make his Seahawks debut this weekend.

The new pass rusher was dancing to the music blaring over the practice field. He was shadow-boxing with a team staffer between turns in a warm-up drill.

And the 30-year-old defensive end coming off shoulder surgery then a groin injury last month got a similarly positive listing on the team’s official participation report from Wednesday’s practice.

The Seahawks listed Ansah as a full participant four days before they play the New Orleans Saints at CenturyLink Field.

Then again, Ansah was listed as fully practicing Thursday and Friday last week. Then he missed his second consecutive game because of soreness after practicing for the first time in nine months.

Still, coach Pete Carroll said before practice all signs are pointing to the Seahawks finally being able to pair Ansah with Jadeveon Clowney in the defense’s new, improved pass rush off both edges.

The coach was less optimistic about starting right guard D.J. Fluker. The big man missed practice with a sprained ankle he suffered in Sunday’s win at Pittsburgh. Carroll said it will be a wait-and-see proposition on whether Fluker can play against the Saints.

The planned fill-in if Fluker can’t play is Ethan Pocic. Pocic also missed Wednesday’s practice. He suffered a neck injury against the Steelers filling in for both Fluker and fatigued Mike Iupati, the veteran who made his Seahawks debut at left guard in Pittsburgh.

That leaves the starter and replacement both hurting days before the Saints’ NFL-leading pass rush comes to CenturyLink Field.

Carroll said that although Pocic is unlikely to practice much this week, the team believes he has a chance to play against New Orleans.

Starting defensive tackle Poona Ford was listed as limited but was moving around well at the start of the practice. He missed last weekend’s game with a strained calf.

Free safety Tedric Thompson did not practice because of a strained hamstring he has had for more than a week. Carroll said if Thompson doesn’t return this week, he will next week when Seattle plays its first division game of the season at Arizona.

For now it appears the safety pairing against the Saints will be what it was against the Steelers: Bradley McDougald at free safety and Lano Hill at strong safety.

Though wide receiver David Moore was limited in practice, Carroll said it appears Moore will play Sunday. Moore has been out about a month with a fractured upper arm.

Interestingly, rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf, who caught his first NFL touchdown pass against Pittsburgh last weekend, was among those listed as taking the practice day off with the designation “NIR,” not injury related. That’s a perk usually reserved for veterans such as Clowney, left tackle Duane Brown and No. 1 wide receiver Tyler Lockett. Those three joined Metcalf in taking Wednesday off from practice.

Gregg Bell is the Seahawks and NFL writer for The News Tribune. In January 2019 he was named the Washington state sportswriter of the year by the National Sports Media Association. He started covering the NFL in 2002 as the Oakland Raiders beat writer for The Sacramento Bee. The Ohio native began covering the Seahawks in their first Super Bowl season of 2005. In a prior life he graduated from West Point and served as a tactical intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, so he may ask you to drop and give him 10.
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