RENTON — The Seahawks appear to be getting healthier as they approach Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, a contest that much of the nation will see televised on CBS with the No. 1 announcing team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo.
They had just two players sit out practice on Thursday — offensive lineman Ethan Pocic (stiff neck) and cornerback Neiko Thorpe (hamstring).
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Pocic hopes to play Sunday. With everyone else on the team practicing on at least a limited basis, the Seahawks may have an almost healthy roster for Sunday.
Among those practicing fully Thursday are two players who appear on track to make their season debuts — receiver David Moore and defensive end Ziggy Ansah.
Thursday marked the first time Moore has fully participated since suffering a broken humerus bone in practice in mid-August.
“Yeah, David is coming back,’’ quarterback Russell Wilson said Thursday. “He’s been working his tail off to get back. He was a big-time player for us last year. … We’re excited about getting him back on the field. I know he’s fired up about that.’’
Depending on how big of a workload the Seahawks think Moore can handle right out of the gate, he could step right into a starting role in the team’s three-receiver sets alongside Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. That’s a spot that has been held the first two weeks by Jaron Brown. But Brown has yet to have a pass thrown his way this season despite being on the field for 97 snaps and also has been listed as limited in practice this week with a toe injury and was again on Thursday.
Moore, Brown and Lockett were the primary starters in three-receiver sets throughout the preseason with Metcalf nursing a couple of injuries. But Metcalf has emerged as the team’s leading receiver in terms of yards, 150, solidifying a starting role. Moore had five receiving TDs for the Seahawks last season when he had seven starts and had 26 catches.
Ansah has practiced fully both days this week, a critical step toward finally taking the field.
Ansah was listed as questionable for the first two games but did not play, with Carroll saying after the Pittsburgh game that the Seahawks decided last week to shoot for week three for an Ansah return.
Barring a setback, the expectation is that Ansah — who signed a one-year contract in May worth a base value of up to $9 million — will make his Seahawks debut Sunday.
There was one new injury as cornerback Tre Flowers was listed as limited with an ankle issue. Carroll does not talk to the media on Thursdays, so it’s unclear if the injury is significant. Players are sometimes listed as limited if they suffer the injury during practice.
The Seahawks saw the return of one other player in the secondary — free safety Tedric Thompson — who missed last week’s game against the Steelers with a hamstring injury. Thompson was listed as limited.
Lano Hill still is likely to start at safety alongside Bradley McDougald as he did against the Steelers with Thompson out. But Thompson being available to play would add experienced depth.
Also back on a limited basis was guard D.J. Fluker, who sat out Wednesday with an ankle injury suffered Sunday against the Steelers. That would seem to point to Fluker being able to play against the Saints.
One other player upgraded was guard Mike Iupati, listed as full.
Four other players remained limited in practice Thursday — DL Quinton Jefferson (hip), DT Poona Ford (calf) and OL Joey Hunt (ankle).