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Seahawks’ Thomas Rawls: ‘I know I will be ready by the first game’

If Thomas Rawls plays Thursday, it would be his first game action since breaking his ankle in Week 15 of last season. (AP)

RENTON – What has been one of the biggest questions with the Seahawks is no longer a question to running back Thomas Rawls. He said Sunday that he will indeed be ready by play by Week 1.

Rawls, coming off a broken ankle that ended his rookie season and required surgery, again took part in team drills during Sunday’s practice as the Seahawks continued the gradual increase in his workload from when he was activated off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list two weeks ago.

Rawls made his declaration afterward when asked about possibly playing in one of Seattle’s final two preseasons games, which are this Thursday against Dallas and next Thursday at Oakland. While noncommittal, coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have both indicated there’s a chance that he will play at some point in the preseason.

“I’m just taking it day by day,” Rawls said. “Whenever my number is called, if I’m out there, I’m out there. If I’m not, I know I will be ready by the first game.”

The Seahawks open the regular season Sept. 11 against Miami at CenturyLink Field.

“He looks really good. He looks really good and I think the signs are very, very positive that he’s going to be ready in a couple weeks to play,” Carroll said of Rawls. “Right now, we just want to see him come back day after day and keep battling, keep really digging in like he does and competing like he does, just to show that he’s right. He’s doing everything we’re asking of him. We’re really happy with him.”

Rawls said his ankle feels strong and that he has “a lot of mobility back in it.”

“He has better days than other days,” Carroll said. “Sometimes he feels a little stiff or something, but he’s over it and he’s healed, so now it’s just dealing with the workload. We’re going to work him really hard the next couple weeks to make sure that he is ready and he will have made up time that he wasn’t able to get earlier, and he’s all for it and cranking and ready to go.

“I think what’s a really positive thing for us is to have Christine (Michael) playing the way he’s playing. He’s been a really positive addition and it allows us to have a really comfortable feeling of, let’s make sure we take care of Thomas throughout and when he comes back he’s really (ready) to go.”

Tight end Jimmy Graham’s availability for the start of the season is much less certain than that of Rawls. Carroll last week raised the possibility that Graham may not be far enough along in his recovery from a torn patellar tendon to be ready by then. He said Graham was close to progressing to team drills in practice – which he hasn’t taken part in since being activated off PUP on Aug. 10 – and that he was set to undergo some tests on his knee.

“He had some tests and stuff like that over the weekend that were very positive,” Carroll said Sunday. “We’re just trying to find ways to keep making steps and we’re very careful to do the right things. His mentality is good and his attitude is really good about it.”

Asked about those tests, Carroll said: “He made progress. He made good progress. All of the work he has been putting in is showing up, so it’s really positive signs.”

Here are some more personnel notes from Sunday:

• Carroll said the injury that rookie tight end Nick Vannett sustained in Seattle’s preseason loss on Aug. 18 against Minnesota is a high-ankle sprain. “He’s surprisingly feeling pretty good. He got a pretty good sprain, it looked like from all the tests, but he’s responded really well. I don’t know what that means, but the trainers are really pleased about that.”

• Rookie defensive tackle Jarran Reed injured his toe in that game and also re-aggravated a previous ankle injury, Carroll said. “We’re going to have to see what that means and see how long that takes him. He seemed to come back really fast last time, so we’ll see what happens.”

• Carroll said right tackle J’Marcus Webb is on track to play Thursday after missing the first two preseason games with a knee injury. Webb worked with the second team Sunday, as he has since returning to practice from his injury. “He’s going to play this week, if everything goes well during the week. It’s a really important week for him to come back and compete for his spot.”

• Rookie running back C.J. Prosise has a chance to make his preseason debut Thursday, Carroll said. He hurt his hamstring on the first day of training camp and only returned to practice last week. He didn’t practice Sunday, but Carroll said he will on Monday. “It’s really an important week for us to get him back, just so he can hopefully get into practice every day and get his process started, give him a chance to see where he fits in.”

• Wide receiver Kasen Williams and linebacker Brock Coyle were among the other players who didn’t practice Sunday. Williams missed time in training camp with a hamstring injury and didn’t come out of Thursday’s game feeling well, Carroll said. Carroll called him day-to-day but said he’s “really close to being back.” Carroll said Coyle is dealing with oblique and calf injuries and that he has a chance to practice Monday.