Sherman on Seahawks-Packers Thursday night: 'It will be a chess match'

RENTON, Wash. -- Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said Monday that Thursday night's game against the Green Bay Packers to open the 2014 NFL regular season "will be a chess match" and that Aaron Rodgers is, arguably, the best quarterback in the league.

Sherman said Rodgers can move the defense with his eyes, making it difficult to keep him from completing passes.

Las Vegas oddsmakers have installed Seattle as 5-point favorites for the 5:30 p.m. game at CenturyLink Field.

The Seahawks practiced on Monday, Labor Day, and afterward coach Pete Carroll said, “Well, we've all been waiting to get this thing started ... it's a great match-up. We have a fantastic opponent and a staff that we respect tremendously. It's everything that you could ask for on opening night. So we're pretty fortunate that we're in good shape, pretty healthy going in."

Not everyone is healthy. Carroll said running back Christine Michael is "banged up" and is status will become clearer in a day or two. Also, linebacker Kevin Pierre Louis pulled a hamstring in last week's preseason game against the Raiders in Oakland, he said.

Carroll confirmed that safety Earl Thomas will be the team's primary punt returner.

After releasing wide receiver Bryan Walters Saturday in the final roster reduction to 53 players, the team re-signed the five-year pro to the active roster and released third-year receiver Phil Bates.

The Seahawks filled out the remaining two spots on their 10-man practice squad by  signing rookie defensive end Julius Warmsley and defensive back Josh Aubrey.

Warmsley, who went undrafted out of Tulane, worked in training camp with the Houston Texans, while the second-year pro Aubrey spent 2013 with Cleveland Browns, said.