RENTON For the first time since his new lead running back broke his ankle and tore ligaments more than seven months ago, coach Pete Carroll said Thomas Rawls will be ready to play in the Seahawks’ first game of the 2016 season.
“Thomas looks really good. I’d like to tell you he looks great. I have no hesitation to say he will play in the opener,” Carroll said following Wednesday’s light walk-through practice. “I have no hesitation to say that.”
Rawls, the Seahawks’ breakout rookie rushing star last season as an undrafted free agent, returned to full participation with the starting offense this week. He began training camp July 30 on the physically-unable-to-perform list following surgery last winter for the first major injury of his football life.
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Carroll said Rawls will not play in Thursday’s third preseason game against Dallas at CenturyLink Field, the final full rehearsal for starters before the games get real.
So what. Carroll’s Wednesday was the most unequivocal declaration yet Rawls will be full go for Sept. 11 against Miami.
Tight end Jimmy Graham, Rawls’ partner on the PUP list who came off and returned to practice the same week Rawls did this month, worked with the starting offense Wednesday. The no-pads, no-helmet drills were the appropriate tempo for Graham right now, Carroll said. Graham ruptured the patellar tendon in his knee Nov. 29 against Pittsburgh, and it remains possible he misses the first couple regular-season games.
Carroll said Graham’s activity will ramp up these next two weeks.
Rookie running back C.J. Prosise will play his first Seahawks “game” Thursday in the Dallas exhibition, Carroll said. Seattle drafted him in the third round in May to be its new third-down back to catch passes, but he strained his hamstring July 30 on the first day of camp and missed weeks.
J’Marcus Webb will play against the Cowboys at right tackle and maybe left tackle, Carroll said. Webb was the No. 1 right tackle from May’s minicamps until two weeks ago when he sprained his knee. He played left tackle to begin his career in 2010 with the Chicago Bears.