After being held out of the Seahawks' first two games, defensive end Ziggy Ansah is set to make his debut when Seattle hosts the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
Ansah, a key offseason addition in free agency, had shoulder surgery last season, so while he was able to practice in recent weeks, the Seahawks exercised caution in bringing him back to make sure he was fully healthy and ready to go.
"Ziggy's ready to play," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "Ready to play football. We're excited to see that. It has been a really good process to get him to this where he's in good shape too. He's worked hard and long, so he's in better shape than sometimes when a guy is just coming back. We'll be able to get him a bunch of plays here in this game, and we're looking forward to his participation with us.
"He made it back to practice in Week 1 in time to do that, but we just felt like it was better to build his confidence and the return and all of that. He just waited out to secure the return. Hopefully, that's what happened."
Asked about having to wait until Week 3 to make his Seahawks debut, Ansah said, "It's a marathon and not a sprint. If I was good enough, I would be on the field. It's a collective decision we make with the doctors, the head coach, the medical staff and myself. Whenever we all think it's right for me to be out there, I'll be out there."
Ansah's return isn't the only good news for the defensive line; starting defensive tackle Poona Ford, who missed last week's game with a calf injury, is also expected back.
"Poona did a really good job this week, he made it through the whole week of work," Carroll said. "He's definitely back and ready to go. It was a great recovery, just took a week to get him back. We're getting closer. When you get your guys back, it doesn't mean you've got it. It means now you can start growing with them and figuring out the way they all fit together and all that. That's kind of where we are."
It will be particularly intriguing to see how the Seahawks use Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney together with those two new additions suiting up together for the first time.
"I couldn't be more excited to see these guys play together and get going," Carroll said. "(Jadeveon) is just getting started too. It's pretty fun. Can't wait to see what it looks like."
Ansah is equally excited to play with Clowney for the first time.
"I'm super excited to play with him," he said. "He's a great guy off the field, and we all know what he can do on the field. So whenever I get an opportunity to play with him, that'll be great, and I'm looking forward to that."
In addition to Ansah and Ford, the Seahawks should also get receiver David Moore back. Moore, who had a fracture in his humerus bone, practiced fully on Thursday and Friday, and the fact that he isn't on the final injury report indicates he will be available. D.J. Fluker, who left last week's game with an ankle injury before quickly returning, also practiced fully Friday and is not on the final injury report. Backup center Joey Hunt is also off the injury report and ready to play after missing the past two games with an ankle injury.
Here's what Pete Carroll said about the rest of Seattle's injuries, including two players who are questionable with injuries sustained in practice this week:
Cornerback Tre Flowers
Flowers injured his ankle in practice Thursday and did not practice Friday. He's listed as questionable and will work out on gameday to determine his status.
"He turned his ankle yesterday," Carroll said. 'I can't tell you what's going to happen, we're going to take him up to game time on that one. It wasn't severe at all, but something happened that we had to hold him back."
Running back Rashaad Penny
Penny injured his practice late in Friday's practice, putting his status for Sunday in question.
"We're putting him down as questionable until we know more," Carroll said. "Just happened about twenty minutes ago."
Safety Tedric Thompson
Thompson did not practice the first two days this week, but was a limited participant on Friday, and is listed as questionable after missing last week's game with a hamstring injury.
"He's questionable right now," Carroll said. "We'll work him out at the stadium and see what happens."
Guard Ethan Pocic
Pocic did not practice all week due to a neck injury and is listed as doubtful.
"He's hurting," Carroll said. "He's still pretty sore."
Here are the full injury reports for both teams:
G Ethan Pocic (neck, did not participate in practice)
CB Neiko Thorpe (hamstring, did not participate in practice)
S Tedric Thompson (hamstring, limited participation in practice)
CB Tre Flowers (ankle, did not participate in practice)
RB Rashaad Penny (hamstring, limited participation in practice)
New Orleans Saints
QB Drew Brees (right thumb, did not participate in practice)
DE Sheldon Rankin (achilles, limited participation in practice)
WR Tre-Quan Smith (ankle, did not participate in practice)