Thomas Rawls apparently will be out a while.
That was the initial takeaway Wednesday after the Seahawks signed veteran running back C.J. Spiller to a contract.
A league source with knowledge of the situation said the deal for the former Buffalo Bills’ No. 1 draft choice is for one year — specifically, the remainder of this season.
The Seahawks released recently signed running back Terrence Magee to clear a spot for Spiller on their 53-man roster.
The move underlines that the Seahawks expect Rawls, their lead back, to remain out with a broken bone in his fibula for multiple games beyond Sunday’s matchup at the New York Jets and the following week’s bye.
Spiller’s signing could be linked to rookie third-down back C.J. Prosise’s difficulty in catching passes with a protective device over a broken bone in his hand. The injury has kept the third-round pick out of the last two games. Prosise was full go in Wednesday’s practice, though.
Spiller reportedly worked out with the Jets on Tuesday.
The 29-year-old was Buffalo’s first-round pick in 2010, then replaced Marshawn Lynch as the Bills’ featured back until an injury-filled 2014. Spiller made the Pro Bowl for the 2012 season after rushing for a career-high 1,244 yards.
He ran for more than 3,300 yards with 12 touchdowns in 70 games in his time in Buffalo. He caught 158 passes for six touchdowns and returned two kickoffs for TDs.
Spiller could provide versatility and insurance not only as a fill-in for Rawls and Christine Michael, but for Prosise.
Spiller fell out of the Bills’ plans in 2014 after he broke his collarbone in October and missed seven games.
New Orleans signed him to a three-year contract that is paying him $1.7 million this season, and which became guaranteed after he was on the Saints’ active roster for Week 1. So the Seahawks will likely be signing him for a 14-week proration of the veteran minimum for a player with six vested years in the league, which is a portion of $760,000, or $625,882.
Spiller had knee surgery before the 2015 season, then ran for 112 yards in 13 games for the Saints. His bigger, though still not substantial impact was with Drew Brees in New Orleans passing game: 34 receptions and two touchdowns.
Spiller was healthy but inactive for this season’s Saints opener on Sept. 11. Two days later, New Orleans released him.
At the time, Saints coach Sean Payton told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that Spiller is “a phenomenal, phenomenal guy” and a “good teammate.”
Payton explained that the Saints cut Spiller because they needed his roster spot for a cornerback. New Orleans lost corner Delvin Breaux to a broken fibula in its opening loss to Oakland.
Spiller tried out for Green Bay last week.
Should the Seahawks’ move become official, as expected, Spiller will be the third ex-Bills lead back to play for Seattle in the last six years. Lynch arrived in a trade in October 2010. Fred Jackson signed last year and played one season as the third-down back.
IFEDI ON TRACK TO DEBUT
Rookie starting right guard Germain Ifedi was limited in practice while coming back from the high-ankle sprain that’s kept him out of the first three games. But signs are that the Seahawks’ first-round pick will make his debut Sunday.
“He’s going to be a little bit limited (Wednesday) just in the numbers of reps, but he’s really practicing all day,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said before the drills. “We were so pumped about everything he had done to get this thing started. I know he’s really up about it and all, and we look forward to adding him in.”
On cue, Ifedi said: “I’m excited,” and added that he’s remained engaged in the offense through intense studying this month.
His return will move his recent fill-in, J’Marcus Webb, back to being the No. 2 right tackle behind Garry Gilliam, and now, of course, the backup to Ifedi, too.
ROOKIE DRAFT PICK BROOKS RETURNS
The Seahawks brought back seventh-round draft pick Zac Brooks this week and signed him to the practice squad.
“It’s good (coming back here),” Brooks said. “You do not have to start from zero. I have a feel for all the plays still, and the coaches and the environment and the players.”
After suffering a hamstring injury, Brooks never really got going during training camp. He was released in the final round of cuts on Aug. 30. Brooks had workouts with the Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts, but had not signed anywhere in the past three weeks.
“I also spent some good time with the family,” said Brooks, who played collegiately at Clemson. “I was just trying to keep my life at bay. I always have to keep doing something.”
SEFERIAN-JENKINS UNLIKELY TO FACE SEAHAWKS
Recently picked up by the Jets, former Gig Harbor High School and University of Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins likely won’t be active against the Seahawks.
He is expected to report to practice for the first time Thursday after being claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay on Monday.
What role will Seferian-Jenkins have in the Jets offense over the next few weeks?
“I have to meet him first and gauge his intelligence,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said. “I’ve seen some people get (our offense) in a few days. I’ve seen some people take a few weeks.”
Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick admitted he knew little about Seferian-Jenkins, but added that “if he is able to come in and make plays, then I am sure we will be able to fit him into the offense.”
Seferian-Jenkins, a second-round draft pick in 2014, caught 45 passes for 603 yards and seven touchdowns in his two-plus seasons with the Buccaneers. He was waived Friday after his arrest in Florida on a charge of driving under the influence.
Lot of talk this week was about tight end Luke Willson’s debut as a fullback last weekend against San Francisco. That’s because the Seahawks don’t have a true one on the roster after releasing Will Tukuafu again this month. Will Willson block as a fullback again at New York? “We’ll see,” Carroll said. “We might just spread it around with some other guys this week.” … Fitzpatrick is a Harvard graduate. He’s been a renowned Scrabble player in his spare time. Used to be. Now with three young children, Fitzpatrick said he’s had to shift his focus to card games. “I’ve become really good at War and Go Fish and Old Maid and Crazy Eights, and games like that,” Fitzpatrick said. “I do enjoy cribbage. My wife plays, and my 9-year-old plays cribbage, so we enjoy that.”
Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle