The Seahawks held their first regular-season practice of the 2019 campaign on Wednesday at Renton’s Virginia Mason Athletic Center, and as the club began its preparation for Sunday’s opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, four Seattle players were sidelined with injuries.
Among those sitting out to open the practice week were center Joey Hunt (ankle), guard Mike Iupati (foot), wide receiver David Moore (shoulder), and tackle Duane Brown (knee). Of that group, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll provided an update on Iupati before Wednesday’s practice, stating they’ll take a “one day at a time” approach with the veteran who’s missed nearly all of training camp.
“Mike just went through the walkthrough with us, so we’ll see how he goes, one day at a time,” Carroll said of Iupati, the Seahawks’ projected starter at left guard. “I can’t tell yet. I always go back to how they respond to the day; he hasn’t been out with us, so we’ll see what happens. I really didn’t know yet. Just take it one day at a time.”
In Iupati’s place, Seattle has turned to Ethan Pocic and Carroll said he’s ”very comfortable” should Pocic be asked to start this weekend’s game against Cincinnati, noting the third-year pro has come back significantly stronger this season.
“He’s become just more powerful. He’s gaining some old-man strength here by playing a few years,” Carroll said. “Just in general he holds up better, pass protection. He’s always been a really good ballplayer, it just seems like he’s harnessed a new level of power for himself and it shows up.
“He’s ready to go. If he plays the whole game I’m fine, very comfortable with that. He’s played with our guys a lot. He’s got the experience. We’d love to have Mike back, but if we don’t get him then we’re in good shape.”
Limited for Seattle on Wednesday were a handful of players who have been dealing with injuries throughout preseason, including tackle George Fant (ankle), receiver DK Metcalf (knee), and linebacker Shaquem Griffin (knee), as well as defensive ends L.J. Collier (ankle) and Ziggy Ansah (shoulder). Receiver Jaron Brown (toe) and newly-acquired defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (not injury related) were also limited Wednesday.
On Monday, Carroll said Ansah, one of Seattle’s top free-agent signings this offseason, is “ready to go” this week and should be in line to make his Seahawks debut. The status of Collier, the team’s first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, won’t be known until later in the week.
“We’ll wait and see how the week goes here,” Carroll said when asked about Collier’s status. “He’s going to get some practice work in today. He did some stuff on Monday, so we’re just going one step at a time with him. I don’t know yet. He did look good and he looked like he’s on his way to roar back in the mix of this thing. It’ll be fantastic to have him back in the competition of it, but I can’t tell you what’s going to happen at the end of the week yet.”
Of note for Cincinnati, receiver A.J. Green (ankle) was sidelined, while fellow receiver John Ross III (hamstring), a former University of Washington standout, practiced in full.
Here’s a closer look at Wednesday’s practice report for the Seahawks and Bengals:
Did Not Participate
C Joey Hunt (Ankle)
G Mike Iupati (Foot)
WR David Moore (Shoulder)
T Duane Brown (Knee)
T George Fant (Ankle)
WR DK Metcalf (Knee)
WR Jaron Brown (Toe)
DE L.J. Collier (Ankle)
DE Ziggy Ansah (Shoulder)
LB Shaquem Griffin (Knee)
DE Jadeveon Clowney (Not Injury Related)
S Marquise Blair (Back)
Did Not Participate
OT Cordy Glenn (Concussion)
WR A.J. Green (Ankle)
HB Trayveon Williams (Foot)
WR Auden Tate (Knee)
DE Andrew Brown (Quad)
S Clayton Fejedelem (Ankle)
CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Achilles)
WR John Ross (Hamstring)
Photos from Wednesday's Seahawks practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center in preparation for Sunday's regular season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.