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Earl Thomas starting for Seahawks against Broncos

Earl Thomas is officially back.

Days removed from returning to the Seattle Seahawks facility from his holdout, the safety was activated to the active roster Saturday. Thomas will start against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

Thomas, 29, enters the final year of his contract, which pays a base salary of $8.5 million, but the safety still wants a new deal.

Thomas elected to stay away from team activities throughout the offseason and incurred financial penalties for missing Seattle's mandatory three-day minicamp, training camp and preseason action. The Seahawks wiped away those fines upon Thomas' return.

"I worked my whole life for this," Thomas said ahead of his return to the team. "I've never let me teammates, city or fans down as long as I've lived and don't plan on starting this weekend."

Unfortunately for Seattle, the Seahawks will be without starting cornerback Dontae Johnson this week and beyond.

Johnson was questionable coming into Seattle's season opener against the Denver Broncos with a hip injury. But the Seahawks placed the fifth-year defensive back on injured reserve with a groin strain on Saturday. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero first reported the news.

The injury is not considered serious, Pelissero added. Johnson should be a candidate to be designated to return after Week 8.

Johnson was slated to replace departed Boomer Richard Sherman as one of Seattle's starting corners across from Shaquill Griffin. Instead, Neiko Thorpe and Tre Flowers are now expected to take Johnson's place. The team also promoted cornerback Akeem King from the practice squad in a corresponding move, Pelissero added. 

Johnson spent the first four years of his career with the San Francisco 49ers. He started all 16 games in 2017, recording one interception (a pick-six), seven passes defensed and 76 tackles.

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