Late Wednesday it was reported that the Seattle Seahawks would be flying free agent defensive end Ziggy Ansah, formerly of the Detroit Lions, to Seattle on Thursday morning in order to sign a one-year contract with the team. This came following conflicting reports Wednesday afternoon regarding whether the Seahawks or the Buffalo Bills were the frontrunners for Ansah’s services during the 2019 season.
However, now that it has been publicly reported that the Seahawks are flying Ansah to Seattle on Thursday to sign with the team, further reports have now emerged that may shine some light on why other teams may have shied away.
According to NFL Insider Adam Schefter, it is possible that Ansah could potentially miss as much as the first month of the season due to the ongoing recovery from shoulder surgery in December.
New Seahawks’ DE Ziggy Ansah still is recovering from shoulder surgery that is expected to keep him out of training camp or longer; some league sources believe Ansah could miss the first month of this season, at least.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 9, 2019
If this is indeed the case, and Ansah does indeed miss training camp and the first month of the season, that obviously helps explain why the Seahawks were able to add his services for just $5.5M guaranteed. Recovery from shoulder surgery is no joke, as was seen in the case of Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts missing the entire 2017 NFL season following the surgical repair of a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. Obviously, Ansah doesn't have to worry about throwing the football, so his recovery should not be anywhere near as long as Luck's.
However, recovery from shoulder surgery must proceed at a very conservative pace, or else reinjury or reaggravation can easily occur. Reinjury can easily result in the shoulder failing to heal properly, and leading to either a shoulder that is less than one hundred percent going forward, or even a follow up procedure. In addition, it's highly likely that Ansah himself will be very conservative in the timetable for his recovery and return to the playing field. He surely understands that any reinjury is likely to simply land him back in the exact same spot this time next year. and so looking at it from his perspective, it would seem prudent to take as much time as necessary to return to form with the shoulder as healthy as possible.
Thus, I fully expect to see Ansah on the field for the Hawks in 2019, the question simply becomes exactly when.