RENTON – Tight end Zach Miller is healthy.
Now the challenge is staying that way for the regular season, and that precaution is the reason he was limited to individual drills in practice Tuesday and likely won’t play in Friday’s preseason game at Green Bay as he gets up to speed after missing more than three weeks of practice with a foot injury.
“I feel 100 percent now,” Miller said. “It’s just getting back in shape, getting back in football mode.”
Camp Carroll: Day 27 (Practice 18)
|Gear:||Helmets, shoulder pads, shorts.|
|Practice:||10 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.|
|DNP:||G James Carpenter (foot), FB Michael Robinson (illness), DT Jesse Williams (knee), WR Bryan Walters (hamstring).||PUP:||WR Percy Harvin, DE Chris Clemons, DL Greg Scruggs, CB Tharold Simon.||Non-football Injury list:||LB Korey Toomer.|
This is the same foot Miller hurt in the Seahawks’ playoff loss at Atlanta, just not the same injury. And while Miller declined to specify exactly what the injury was, he indicated that this isn’t something that should be a chronic condition.
“Once it heals, it’s supposed to heal stronger,” he said.
Miller’s health is important not just because of what he brings to Seattle as a starter, but because of the situation at that position. Tight end is the least experienced spot on the roster as backup Anthony McCoy suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in the offseason. Rookie Luke Willson has earned praise from coaches and teammates for his ability to digest the playbook and second-year player Sean McGrath has played extensively in the preseason, but Miller is the only tight end on the roster who has caught a pass in a regular-season NFL game.
Miller began the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, but he was activated Friday and is working himself up to game condition.
“Luckily, the coaches and training staff here are smart enough to keep me off it, give it enough time to heal,” he said. “Now it feels real good.”
One of the only questions in Seattle’s starting lineup was answered when the Seahawks traded John Moffitt, leaving J.R. Sweezy as the undisputed starter at right guard.
“J.R. beat him out and did a nice job,” coach Pete Carroll said.
This wasn’t about Moffitt’s outsized personality or the four-game suspension he served as a rookie for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs – something he attributed to Adderall. This was entirely about the fact that Moffitt wasn’t going to beat out Sweezy for the starting job and that rookies Alvin Bailey and Michael Bowie are making strides on that same line. The fact that both Bailey and Bowie spent time playing guard last week was the final test, telling the Seahawks they had sufficient depth without Moffitt.
“It wasn’t too big for them,” offensive-line coach Tom Cable said of the two rookies. “It certainly helped to know moving forward that if they can continue to develop, you have the right depth.”
• Rookie DT Jordan Hill suffered an arm injury during Tuesday’s practice, but it’s too soon to know if it will affect his availability this week.
• FB Michael Robinson was absent from Tuesday’s practice because of illness, but is expected back in time for Friday’s game.