The Seahawks will host the Raiders Thursday night in their final preseason game, and while rookie receiver DK Metcalf won’t be on the field for that game, a return for the regular-season opener is still possible for the second-round pick.
Metcalf, who had minor knee surgery following Seattle’s second preseason game, has resumed running, and neither he nor Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is ruling out a Week 1 return.
“Let’s just wait and see how he does,” Carroll said. “I want (him to play) and he wants to. He has referred to himself as Wolverine like he’ll bounce back, so maybe he can pull that off. He’s running today right now, he’s out there on the turf doing it. So we’ll see what happens. It’s really just an assessment every day. He really feels pretty comfortable right now, he doesn’t have any swelling and all that, so he doesn’t have the hinderance that could have showed up. So it just depends on how he tolerates it.”
While Metcalf’s status is still up in the air, Carroll noted that the rookie has the right mindset and is approaching his rehab as if he’ll be ready to go.
“He’s remarkable,” Carroll said. “He’s a very mature kid, very clear about the challenge of it, very clear about his intentions and expectations. He’s counting on playing, he’s not even thinking of anything else. His mentality is excellent. It’s as good as it could be for a young kid. He just continues to kind of surprise us in all ways. I just spent some time with him coming off the field today, I had some questions for him about some other things, and he’s just an impressive kid. Good background, and he’s strong, and he knows what he wants to do. All of that really bodes well for a guy. He’s not thinking that he’s not coming back, he’s thinking he’s going to be back and playing.”
Another player trying to get back for Week 1 is defensive end Ziggy Ansah, who returned to practice Tuesday.
Carroll said that after his first practice, Ansah was “a little sore, just in general, getting the real football moves back going. He’s going to stay here over the weekend and work through it, get one day of break, then get right back at it and come back next week on Monday, and we’re going. We’re counting on him making it through it until we can’t.”
Three players who are expected to play Thursday night after being out last week are linebacker Shaquem Griffin (knee), quarterback Paxton Lynch (concussion) and safety Marquise Blair (back).
Not available Thursday is backup center Joey Hunt, who sprained his ankle in Saturday’s game in Los Angeles. That injury, combined with Ethan Pocic’s current role as the No. 1 left guard while Mike Iupati is out, leaves the Seahawks thin at center behind starter Justin Britt. Because of that, veteran Marcus Martin will see playing time at center Thursday. Martin has worked at guard since signing with Seattle in the offseason, but has significant experience at center in his past, including starting for the 49ers there in 2015.
“Marcus is an interesting case,” Carroll said. “I think he has 29 starts or something like that as a center, so he’s got good background. He’s a real big body in there. I’m real anxious to see him play. I’ve been kind of on his butt all week to make this transition and take advantage of this opportunity with Joey being banged up. He’s going to play a lot in this game.”
Two offensive linemen who won’t be ready for the start of the season are guards Phil Haynes and Jordan Simmons. Carroll said Haynes, who had sports hernia surgery in the offseason, could stay on the physically unable to perform list into the season.
On Haynes, Carroll said. “He’s not going to make it to be ready to play by the opener. Being a PUP guy, that’s kind of how of how he has a chance to enter (the season). We really wish we could get a shot at him. There’s some decisions to be made on that—he could be one of the PUP guys going into the season, he could be on the roster. We really need him right now. With Mike (Iupati) being out, we could have really used him, he could have had a great opportunity in this camp, as Jordan Simmons could have too. It’s unfortunate those guys missed.”
On Simmons, Carroll said, “He’s recovering. He’s going to miss (the start of the season) by about three weeks, four weeks, something like that. So we’ll figure out how we’re going to handle that.”
The Seahawks and the Raiders will meet this Thursday in Seattle at CenturyLink Field for the final game of 2019 preseason. Take a look back at photos from past games played between the two teams.