Russell Wilson excused for funeral; Ziggy Ansah tracking for season opener

Russell Wilson 8-2

RENTON -- Russell Wilson missed an in-season Seahawks practice for the first time in his eight seasons with the team on Friday.

Wilson was away from the team to attend to family matters following the passing of his grandfather, Dr. Harrison B. Wilson Jr., earlier this week.

Wilson has been an iron man for the Seahawks both in games and in practice for the teams since joining the club in 2012. A high-ankle sprain and knee sprain didn't stop Wilson from practicing with the team in 2016 when it very easily could have sidelined him for multiple weeks. Wilson prides himself on always being available for the team and has only missed one other practice during his time in Seattle.

Wilson skipped a voluntary OTA session in May 2015 to attend the funeral of Tamara Meyerson, who was a manager and mentor for tight end Jimmy Graham, who had been traded for Seattle earlier in the offseason. This time, it was a funeral of someone close to Wilson that kept the team's starting quarterback away on Friday.

Wilson is expected to be back in time for the team's "mock game" workout Saturday afternoon at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell.

With Wilson away, Geno Smith and Paxton Lynch carried the quarterback duties for the day. Smith took the first-team snaps during Friday's practice with Lynch and Smith splitting work with the backups units for the rest of the day.

Ezekiel Ansah progressing toward season opener:

Head coach Pete Carroll joined Chuck and Buck in the Morning on Friday and said that defensive end Ezekiel Ansah is on track toward being available for the regular season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.

“Oh, sure. We’re counting on it," Carroll said. "I’m counting that he’s going to make it. I don’t see any reason that he wouldn’t. He’s doing great, has made progress throughout, did more again yesterday and he’ll continue to do that. I’m not really concerned about the preseason games for him. I just want to get him to game time if we can. Hopefully in the next couple weeks he’ll be able to practice and do everything and he’ll have a couple good weeks of practicing with us at full tempo and that will get him ready for the season.

Ansah is not on the physically unable to perform list but has not taken part in any of the team's practices so far. He is doing work during walkthrough periods but is being held out of any possible contact for the time being. Ansah is recovering from a shoulder injury that brought his season with the Detroit Lions to an early end last year. Ansah's shoulders are back to being structurally sound, but he's still working to get the necessary strength back before the season begins.

"We're really excited about Ziggy," Carroll said. "He's got all the right stuff for us. He's making great progress. He’s out here running around, doing stuff every day. He’s in good shape and all. We’re just making sure that his shoulder is solid as it can be. He’s a real factor now. He is just in the mode of the guys that play the LEO position for us so you’re not getting to see him right now. You won’t see much of him in preseason because we’re going to make sure that he’s back and ready to go. But that’s a big issue for us to get him going."

Carroll continues to gush over DK Metcalf:

The Seahawks have not been shy about expressing their excitement when it comes to second-round pick DK Metcalf.

The wide receiver out of Ole Miss has been the center of attention on the offensive side of the ball when it comes to new additions to the roster. Carroll is right at the front of the line when it comes to being excited about the team's new weapon.

"DK is doing everything he can by practicing really hard and working really hard and he’s really doing some great stuff," Carroll said. "He’s been up to it. We’re able to do some things because of his ability to separate on routes just because of how long he is. When you have big guys, they’re running right next to guys like other guys are but they look open and you throw the ball to them even though there’s a guy covering him because they make the space with their body and their length. That factor is there. You can see that clearly and over the years in the past I have always had guys, the real big guys, that we’ve used at the X receiver position and man, it’s an advantage. This is our return to that and so it’s kind of fun to have."

Notes:

-- Duane Brown was back at practice on Friday after missing the previous day due to a family matter. Mike Iupati was sidelined again due to a sprained foot as Ethan Pocic took snaps with the first-team offense at left guard instead. Right guard D.J. Fluker had a club built up on his right hand after appearing to injure his hand in practice on Thursday.

-- Linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven took part in team drills for the first time on Friday. He had been limited to individual work since coming off the PUP list last week.

-- Defensive end Quinton Jefferson and linebacker Cody Barton did not take part in practice on Friday.

-- Players remaining sidelined on Friday: S Lano Hill (hip), DE Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder), DE L.J. Collier (ankle), LB Justin Currie (hamstring), G Phil Haynes (PUP/sports hernia), TE Tyrone Swoopes (foot/ankle), TE Justin Johnson (Achilles), DT Demarcus Christmas (PUP/back), S Jalen Harvey and CB Davante Davis.

 
Curtis Crabtree

Curtis Crabtree

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