RENTON — A Seahawks receiving corps that already was going to lean heavily on young players to make a big impact this season has lost one of its few veterans — David Moore — for at least the regular season opener and likely much longer.
Coach Pete Carroll revealed Friday that Moore suffered a shoulder injury in practice Thursday and that he is likely headed to an extended absence.
“He is going to be out a while,’’ said Carroll of Moore, who has spent all of the preseason working as one of the starters in the team’s three-receiver sets alongside Tyler Lockett and Jaron Brown.
Moore caught 26 passes last season for Seattle in what was first full year in the NFL and second overall, scoring five touchdowns — tied for second-most among the team’s receivers — and with a 17.1-yard-per-catch average that was the best among Seattle’s regular receivers.
Take out Moore, and aside from Lockett and Brown, the rest of the receivers on Seattle’s roster have a combined 10 career receptions — eight from Amara Darboh, who has not played since 2017.
A report from the NFL Network stated that Moore is getting a second opinion on the shoulder and that for now, he is not expected to require surgery. The Seattle Times confirmed that as of now, surgery does not appear to be in the cards for Moore while the team and Moore figure out the best way to treat his injury (Carroll did not give specifics of what it is). But it remains unclear how long Moore will be out, with Carroll saying “I’ll let you know more when I know more about it.’’
But asked if Moore could be available for the start of the regular season, Carroll said that he won’t be.
Seattle also is currently without rookie DK Metcalf, who had surgery on his knee Tuesday. Carroll said on Friday that Metcalf has had no swelling in the knee since the surgery and said again the team is hopeful of a quick recovery and that Metcalf will be “active’’ next week, apparently meaning getting work in practice. But he did not flat out say that Metcalf will be ready for the regular season opener Sept. 8 against the Bengals.
“We will keep our fingers crossed that he can make it back quickly,” Carroll said of Metcalf.
Moore and Metcalf had projected as two of the team’s top four receivers after Lockett and Brown.
Now, the only other two receivers on the roster who have a reception in an NFL game are Darboh and Malik Turner, who had two last season. Turner was the only other receiver to play a snap with the starting unit last week at Minnesota other than Lockett, Brown and Moore.
Darboh, a third-round pick in 2017 who has yet to play in the preseason but is now healthy and expected to play significantly against the Chargers Saturday, could also suddenly become a factor, especially playing on the outside, where Moore has spent most of his time.
And rookies such as Gary Jennings, John Ursua and Jazz Ferguson all could have not only a better chance to make the roster but also could be called on to play more significant roles early on with Moore out and Metcalf uncertain.
Also in the mix at receiver for a roster spot are slot receivers Keenan Reynolds (who played in two games last season but did not make a catch) and rookie Terry Wright.
Seattle could also look to bring in a veteran, and especially may look to do so next week once teams have to begin cutting their rosters to 53 following the final preseason games on Thursday.
Seattle also will have to weigh what to do with Moore. Putting him on the injured reserve list before the cutdown date to 53 on Saturday would mean he is done for the season. But if the team keeps Moore on the initial 53-man roster, then he could return after missing eight games. NFL teams can recall two players a year who are placed on IR after the initial 53-man roster is set.
Ansah could return to practice next week
Carroll said defensive end Ziggy Ansah has a chance to return to practice next week. Ansah has yet to practice after signing in May on a one-year deal worth up to $9 million while first recovering from shoulder surgery and then dealing with a groin injury. Carroll said Ansah’s shoulder is fine but that the team has wanted to make sure the groin is healed before practicing.
“It’s just a matter of getting the groin to quiet down so it doesn’t reoccur,” Carroll said.
Ansah has done regular conditioning work as well as taken part in walk-throughs, Carroll said. But the team would like to see him get as much practice as possible before the regular season begins. Seattle is scheduled to have only two practice days next week — Tuesday and Wednesday — before the preseason finale on Thursday against the Raiders.
“He has progressed to the point where we think that’s possible,’’ Carroll said of Ansah practicing next week. “We think that’s really important and hope we can put that together. If he has to do it in one week’s time we will. But we’d like to get two weeks under his belt (before the regular season begins).’’
A few other injury updates:
— Carroll clarified that rookie safety Marquise Blair bruised his back when he landed on the turf last Sunday at Minnesota — he had earlier called it back spasms. Blair did not practice again Friday and i’s unclear if he will play Saturday but probably unlikely since it does not appear that he practiced all week.
— Carroll said linebacker Bobby Wagner practiced all week alongside K.J. Wright and Mychal Kendricks. He was coy when asked if Wagner will play against the Chargers but said “that would be a good idea.”
— LB Shaquem Griffin will not play Saturday as he continues to battle a bruised knee. He also did not play against Minnesota.
— OT Jamarco Jones also remains out with a hip flexor.
— OT George Fant is making good progress from a sprained ankle and should be ready for the regular season opener.
— Guard Mike Iupati also may return to practice next week after having yet to play in the preseason and Carroll said he should be ready for the regular season.
— QB Geno Smith had a full week of work and will be the backup to Russell Wilson on Saturday with Paxton Lynch sitting out while in the concussion protocol following a hard hit to the helmet against Minnesota.
— DE L.J. Collier continues to progress from a high ankle sprain and Carroll said the team’s first-round pick in the 2019 draft should be able to do more running next week with an eye toward returning before the regular season. “See if he can race back in the next two weeks,” Carroll said.
— Carroll said TE Ed Dickson, who had knee surgery two weeks ago, remains a ways away from returning. “Ed hasn’t been able to do too much, he’s still a ways away,” Carroll said. “The trainers are happy with the progress but, he’s not out running around yet and all that.” That obviously makes it sound as if he won’t be back for the opener, and could make it even more likely the team has a tough decision on its hands what to do with Dickson, with three other healthy tight ends available in Will Dissly, Nick Vannett and Jacob Hollister.