BRADY HENDERSON

Thomas Rawls expected to be ready for Seahawks’ opener, won’t play in Thursday’s preseason game

Aug 24, 2016, 12:47 PM | Updated: 4:21 pm
If Thomas Rawls plays Thursday, it would be his first game action since breaking his ankle in Week ...
If Thomas Rawls plays Thursday, it would be his first game action since breaking his ankle in Week 15 of last season. (AP)
(AP)

RENTON – Seahawks coach Pete Carroll confirmed on Wednesday what has seemed increasingly likely of late, stating definitively that running back Thomas Rawls will be ready for Seattle’s regular-season opener.

Rawls won’t play Thursday against Dallas, though Carroll’s comments suggested he may be able to play in next week’s preseason finale at Oakland.

Rawls, coming off a broken ankle that cut his rookie season short and required surgery, was activated off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on Aug. 7. He declared Sunday that he’ll be ready to play when the Seahawks open the regular season on Sept. 11 against Miami. Carroll, sufficiently encouraged by what he’s seen from Rawls as his workload has progressed in the two and a half weeks since his return to practice, did the same on Wednesday.

“Thomas looks really good,” Carroll said. “All I can tell you is he looks great, and I have no hesitation in telling you he’s going to play in the opener. I have no hesitation in saying that. We’ll see what happens next week. He won’t play in this game.”

Fellow running back C.J. Prosise will play Thursday. The rookie third-round pick missed time earlier in the offseason with a hip injury and has been slowed since the first day of training camp by a hamstring injury, so his preseason debut will be a gauge of his readiness to assume the third-down role that Seattle drafted him to fill. Carroll said Prosise will be somewhat limited Thursday.

“This is the first step. It’s a big deal,” Carroll said, adding that Prosise has “looked really good in practice, and everything we’ve ever seen of him looks good. We just haven’t seen very much.”

Right tackle J’Marcus Webb will also make his Seahawks debut Thursday after sitting out the first two preseason games with a knee injury. Webb was the presumed starter at right tackle after signing a two-year, $5.75 million deal that made him the team’s highest-paid offensive linemen. But he missed time earlier in the offseason with a calf strain and has been working with the second- and third-string offensive lines since returning from his knee injury.

“He had a couple really good days,” Carroll said of Webb. “Very determined. Didn’t like the fact that he lost some of his opportunity there by being out, so he’s come back very determined and looked very good in practice. I expect him to play well in this game just based on how he practiced. So he’ll play on the right side. Depending on how the game goes, he may get a couple some snaps on the other side, too.”

Strong safety Kam Chancellor and defensive tackle Jordan Hill, who have both been sideline by groin injuries, will play Thursday. So will fullback Will Tukuafu, who was re-signed over the weekend.

Wide receiver Kasen Williams (hamstring) won’t play. Seattle will also be without a pair of rookies as defensive tackle Jarran Reed (toe/ankle) and tight end Nick Vannett (ankle) are still out due to the injuries they sustained in last week’s game.

Asked if tight end Jimmy Graham will progress to team drills in practice next week, Carroll noted that he did some of that Wednesday, albeit in a slower-paced practice the day before a game. Carroll’s response did nothing to change the perception that Graham’s availability for Week 1 is still up in the air.

“He started today,” Carroll said of Graham, who’s coming off knee surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon. “He was involved today in this tempo, which is a good tempo to start the transition. Yeah, he will be picking up steam here in the next couple weeks.”

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