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Injury Updates From Pete Carroll Ahead Of Sunday's Season Opener At Denver

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll gave updates on Earl Thomas' first week back, as well as his team's injury situation heading into Sunday's season opener at Denver. 

The Seahawks wrapped up their week of practice Friday, a week that included what head coach Pete Carroll called "a good week" of work from safety Earl Thomas, who returned to the team Wednesday. Whether or not that means Thomas will be on the field on Sunday, however, remains to be seen.

"He was solid all week long," Carroll said. "He's fired up and studying and working hard at it, and he had a good week. We'll let you know how that's going to turn out here (Saturday)."

Carroll referenced Saturday because that's the deadline for adding Thomas to the 53-man roster in order for him to be able to play in Seattle's season opener at Denver, something that would require a corresponding move to be made.

As for why the team is waiting another day on that decision, Carroll said, "Just want to see how he comes off the field, just do everything we can to take care of him as much as possible, make all the right choices. Just use all the time available."

While Thomas' status is still up in the air, Carroll said another key defensive player, defensive end Dion Jordan, will play Sunday. That's good news for the defensive line, and also somewhat surprising news considering Jordan only returned to action from the physically unable to perform list this week.

"He has done well, he's ready to go," Carroll said. "He's going to play in this game… We didn't know how fast he could come along once he went through the stages of the rehab. Everybody is fired up for him, he has done a marvelous job. He has had a lot of setbacks that he's had to deal with, and he's come through and he's ready to play football."

Also ready to go, as expected, is first-round pick Rashaad Penny (hand), who missed the final three preseason games following finger surgery. Penny practiced fully all week.

"He's ready to go," Carroll said. "The guys did a great job taking care of him and conditioning him throughout. He has been on call for everything he could possibly be ready for, and he has been always pushing to get out sooner and push all of the timeframes. His mentality has been great about it, so he's ready to play."

The Seahawks don't know yet if they'll have cornerback Dontae Johnson, who is dealing with a groin strain and who did not practice Thursday or Friday. If Johnson, who is listed as questionable, can't play, rookie Tre Flowers is the likely candidate to start at right cornerback.

"He has done a nice job," Carroll said of Flowers. "He started a couple of games for us already, and if that's the case, then he's ready to go."

Flowers, a fifth-round pick who played safety in college, has proven to be a quick study while learning a new position as an NFL rookie, and he got a lot of playing time in the preseason, including starts in Seattle's first two games.

"Really he has done everything we have asked him to do," Carroll said. "He has studied really hard, he has worked on the mentality that it takes to play outside. He has been really diligent, he hasn't missed a snap of play all through the preparation all through the offseason, so he has benefited from all the time. And he's a really smart player too. He's tough, physical. Really he has done everything right, so he's giving himself a great chance. It's a great accomplishment for him just to be here right now at this time playing for us throughout the preseason. So I'm fired up for him, he's ready."

Right guard D.J. Fluker won't play Sunday because of a hamstring injury, but Carroll said the free-agent addition "feels really close already, but it showed up enough that we needed to respect it and take care of it and not rush him back."

The good news for Seattle is that with Fluker out, they can still turn to an experienced starter in J.R. Sweezy.

"We're very fortunate to have Sweez with us so he can jump right in at that spot and help us out," Carroll said. "We don't feel like we're skipping a beat. They're not the same style of player, but both guys have been starting in the league for a long time, and we're very fortunate to have Sweez."

Sweezy didn't play in the preseason due to a high-ankle sprain, but practiced all week and said, "I'm ready to go. I'm back home where I belong, and it feels that way. I'm just excited… I've got a great group, we work well together, and I'm just very excited for the weekend."

The Broncos, meanwhile, have no players listed on Friday's injury report, meaning all 53 players should be available for Sunday's game.

Here's the full injury report for the Seahawks:

Out

G D.J. Fluker (hamstring, did not participate in practice)

LB K.J. Wright (knee, did not participate in practice)

Questionable

CB Dontae Johnson (groin, did not participate in practice)

The Seahawks and the Broncos meet for the 56th time this coming Sunday in Denver for the first game of the 2018 regular season. Take a look back at some of the photos from the games played between the two teams.

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