PITTSBURGH – Seattle Sea-hawks receiver Sidney Rice’s eventual return to the field became more uncertain Sunday.
Pete Carroll confirmed the news, first reported by Fox Sports, that his high-priced receiver indeed has a torn labrum in his sore shoulder that kept him out of the team’s first two games.
However, Carroll said the injury is not similar to tight end John Carlson’s shoulder injury. Carlson had surgery to repair his torn labrum two weeks ago, and was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list.
Rice, who joined the Seahawks in July by signing a five-year $41 million contract with an $18.5 million guarantee, has not played since Seattle’s third exhibition game, Aug. 27 at Denver.
He was a limited participant in practice leading up to the Pittsburgh game and participated in some team drills, although he wore a red jersey to signify he was not allowed to have any contact.
Depending on the severity, some players can play with labrum injuries. Carroll indicated that the strength in Rice’s shoulder appears to be improving, which should give him an opportunity to play next week.
But there’s no guarantee Rice won’t injure the shoulder worse if he plays against Arizona on Sunday.
“We just need to see if he continues to respond,” Carroll said. “He’s got a sore shoulder now, and we’ve got to make sure he’s right before we put him back.
“He’s got some damage in his shoulder. And we’re trying to figure out how he can come back. … The labrum issues are all different. And he’s responding very well. So we need to see if he’s ready to go.
“This will be a big week for us to test him. He was about 80 percent last week, I would think. If you watch practice you would think he could play. We didn’t hit him and knock him around, so we won’t know until we get more active with him in practice. We’ll know more this week.”
CARROLL STICKING WITH JACKSON
Even with his offense being held scoreless in six of eight quarters this season, Carroll said he’s not ready to pull the plug on the Tarvaris Jackson experiment, and did not consider pulling him at the end of Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh.
“It had nothing to do with the quarterback spot,” Carroll said. “I don’t feel like that at all. We’ll look at everything, but I don’t feel like that at all.”
Carroll has said that he was impressed with the way reserve quarterback Charlie Whitehurst played during exhibitions. But with instability and inconsistent play on the offensive line, Carroll wants to get things shored up there before fully evaluating Jackson’s performance.
Carroll said the line did a better job of protecting Jackson, even though Pittsburgh finished with five sacks.
“This does not feel like it’s a one-guy situation,” Carroll said, when asked if he’s sticking with Jackson next week against Arizona. “It feels like it’s a lot of guys contributing, and the coaches are included. and myself. We’ve got to figure out better ways to move the football with the guy we have at the stage we’re at. Regardless of the developmental process, we’ve got to find our way. We can’t live with this. And we’ve got to do something about it.”
Carroll said none of his players suffered significant injuries during Sunday’s game. … Quarterback Josh Portis, receiver Rice, fullback Michael Robinson, cornerback Byron Maxwell, linebacker Malcolm Smith and offensive tackles Jarriel King and Tyler Polumbus were on Seattle’s inactive list. … Running back Marshawn Lynch hasn’t exactly been in “Beast Mode” to open the season. In two games, Lynch has gained 44 yards on 19 carries for a 2.3 yards-per-carry average.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 email@example.com