RENTON -- Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah took to the practice fields with the Seattle Seahawks for the first time since signing with the team in May.
Ansah had been limited to walkthrough duty only throughout his first training camp in Seattle due to his ongoing recovery from a shoulder surgery this offseason. But while Ansah has been getting dozens of reps a day without contact and a walking pace, he had yet to be able to take the practice field until Tuesday morning.
"He moved around fine. He was going through the individuals drills. He'll do more tomorrow. He's on his way back," head coach Pete Carroll said of Ansah's first day on the field.
"His shoulder is healed, his groin is healed and he's ready to battle. ... Really happy to get him out finally. It's been a long, rigorous return. He's busted his tail and he's made it and we were hoping he would make it before the final week, which he did, and we'll take it and see how far we can go."
Ansah will now get two days or practice this week, a chance to suit up for pre-game warm-ups Thursday night and at least three practices next week before the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 8.
"We'll get information about him and just to get the newness out of him and have a couple days to get back to practice again will be really important to him. I wish we had two or three (weeks), I would have taken them all, but we'll make the most of this. He has worked really hard on the outside. He's been doing all kinds of drills and movement stuff and throwing heavy things and butting into stuff to get ready for this and we feel very secure that he's ready to go now."
Ansah remains an incredibly important piece of Seattle's defense. The team is incredibly lacking in players with proven production as pass rushers with Ansah being the major exception. And barring some outside addition - like a trade for Jadeveon Clowney, for instance - that's not going to change any time soon.
Jacob Martin, Rasheem Green, Poona Ford and others will have a chance to step up and show they can produce if given the opportunity, but Ansah is the only one that has proven he can do it with two separate seasons of double-digit sacks with the Detroit Lions. Now the team will be able to start learning if he can still be that guy for them this season.
-- Center Joey Hunt has a high-ankle sprained sustained late in Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers. The injury to Hunt actually throws the offensive line picture into some uncertainty.
With Mike Iupati questionable to make it back in time for the season opener due to calf and foot sprains, Ethan Pocic would be getting the nod as the starting left guard against the Bengals should Iupati be unable to play. If Pocic is playing guard, he can't back up Justin Britt at center. And if Hunt isn't healthy either, the team may need to keep another center altogether to serve as the backup in the interim.
Marcus Martin has been a center for the San Francisco 49ers and would be the most likely option to step into that role. He'll also likely have to play a large portion of Thursday's final preseason game against the Oakland Raiders.
-- Wide receiver David Moore has a non-displaced fracture of his humerus (upper arm) that will keep sidelined for the near future. Carroll said Moore wasn't experiencing much pain from the injury and believes that it will ultimately be a short-term problem.
"It's sore but it's not too uncomfortable so he's going to be able to make a really quick recovery," Carroll said. "What that is, we don't know. We'll just wait and see but I would bet in another week or so David is going to be chomping at the bit because he's not going to feel much. He's tough and all that. It's not going to hinder him in any way."
Carroll made it clear the team will keep him on the 53-man roster and wait for him to get back and ready to go in the next couple of weeks.
-- DK Metcalf will have a chance to make it back for the opener against the Bengals. Carroll has continually indicated they don't think his recovery from knee surgery will be that lengthy, but whether he will return in time for Week 1 remains a question.
"DK is moving around this week," Carroll said. "We'll see where he is. We have really high hopes he's going to make a really fast return. We just need to see how it goes one day at a time. He did some more stuff today. All through this week he'll be working to get him ready for next week to see how far he can take it. We don't know at this time but very optimistic about it (being) a really quick return."
-- Linebacker Shaquem Griffin and safety Marquise Blair each returned to practice on Tuesday. Griffin had missed time due to a bruised knee while Blair had been out with a bruised back. Both are expected to play in the final preseason game against Oakland.
-- Defensive tackle Nazair Jones and cornerback Kalan Reed were both placed on injured reserve and wide receiver Amara Darboh was waived on Tuesday. Jones had been dealing with ongoing knee issues while Reed missed the last preseason game with a neck injury.
The team added receivers Nyqwan Murray and Khalil Lewis to fill two of the three open spots on the roster.
""It was chronic. It became chronic so we had to fix him up," Carroll said of Jones' knee issue.
In regards to Darboh, a former third round pick, he was dinged up in camp and then couldn't find a way to breakthrough in a crowded receiver group.
"I just think he needed another chance somewhere else," Carroll said. "He's worked really hard at it and to let him out now is to give him more opportunities to get on someplace else. He's a good ballplayer. He competed really hard, he just couldn't get over the hump with enough time and with the depth that we had, he wasn't able to show himself to the top of it so we thought we owed it to him to give him the chance to get out and see what he can do. He'll be playing for somebody."
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 07: Ezekiel Ansah #94 of the Detroit Lions attempts to tackle Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of the NFC Wild Card game at CenturyLink Field on January 7, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)