The questionable designation more often than not means a player will play in the NFL — about two-thirds of the time.
But on Sunday for Ziggy Ansah, it meant he watched from the sidelines as the Seahawks declared Ansah inactive for the regular-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Ansah went through an on-field workout about two and a half hours before the game, working with a trainer on pass rush moves and other conditioning work.
But it apparently was not enough to convince the team he was ready to return.
“He just wasn’t quite ready for this game,” coach Pete Carroll said after Sunday’s win. “We are thinking long haul, and we’ll hope that next week will be the week. … We’ll keep our fingers crossed that he can play next time.”
Ansah was listed as questionable following Friday’s practice after he had initially not been on the team’s status report. He had not practiced until the week before the preseason finale against the Raiders while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and then a calf injury.
“There’s still a little bit of question for Ziggy,’’ Carroll said Friday. “We just want to make sure he’s all right.’’
Seahawks general manager John Schneider said during his pregame radio show on ESPN 710 Seattle that Ansah has not had a setback but that the team was just being cautious.
“This is very much precautionary,” Schneider said. “It’s long-term thinking here. He really only had one week in pads in practice so when I say that, it’s really two days. … He’s just not ready to go and we are not going to put him in harm’s way.”
Seattle’s other inactives yielded no real surprises as receivers Gary Jennings, John Ursua and David Moore were out as well as OL Joey Hunt, DE L.J. Collier and cornerback Parry Nickerson.
Hunt, Collier and Moore had already been ruled out, and Jennings and Ursua were inactive with Seattle going with just four receivers.
Nickerson just arrived last week in a trade with the Jets, and Carroll had hinted on Friday that he might not yet be ready to play.
Ansah signed a one-year contract worth up to $9 million that includes $3 million in playing-time incentives. Specifically, Ansah receives $93,750 for every game he is on the 53-man active roster and for every game he is on the 46-man game day active roster. So, the decision Sunday cost Ansah a little bit of money.
But the Seahawks are obviously playing it cautious with Ansah knowing that some really tough tests await the next few weeks — specifically, a trip to Pittsburgh next Sunday and a visit from Drew Brees and the Saints in two weeks.