RENTON – Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst is on track to get his first start of this season Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
However, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll did not rule out the possibility of starter Tarvaris Jackson being able to play.
Jackson has been a limited participant at practice all week because of a strained pectoral suffered against the New York Giants two weeks ago. He’s been limited to light throwing in individual drills this week, with Whitehurst taking the majority of the snaps with the starters.
Jackson is listed as doubtful on Seattle’s injury report.
“We prepared all week long to get Charlie ready to start, and that’s what we’re thinking right now,” Carroll said. “But we’re going to still see what Tarvaris does in the next couple days. He threw well yesterday, and he feels OK. So we’ll go all the way up to game time to see where he is.”
Seahawks receiver Mike Williams said the offense won’t change much with Whitehurst in charge, and that he has faith in Whitehurst’s ability to get the job done.
“It’s an opportunity,” Williams said. “Charlie’s been watching and learning and soaking it all in, so if it is his shot, we’ve just got to rally around him and try to make plays for him.”
Along with Jackson, the Seahawks likely will be without starting center Max Unger, who did not practice this week because of a foot issue and is listed as doubtful. Lemuel Jeanpierre has been working all week with the first unit and will start Sunday if Unger does not come around.
“He’s got a sore foot, but he can move it,” Carroll said about Unger. “So he’s just listed as doubtful right now.”
And tight end Zach Miller is out because he has not passed concussion tests, which means Anthony McCoy will get his first start of the season. The Seahawks will have to make a roster move to add depth to that position, with only one healthy tight end on the active roster. So either John Nalbone will be elevated from the practice squad, or Cameron Morrah will be activated off the PUP (physically unable to perform) list.
Carroll also said there’s a chance that receiver Deon Butler and defensive back Roy Lewis could be activated off the PUP list. Having those options are a good thing for the team, Carroll said.
“There’s actually a lot of things we can do right now,” Carroll said. “We have to feel it out, and we’re going to use every minute that we can and assess it. But we’re better off than we’ve been. And we have more choices than we’ve had with guys coming back.”
Carroll also praised the play of offensive guard Robert Gallery coming back from a groin injury after missing five weeks, and said he will play against the Browns.
Gallery is listed as probable, along with running back Marshawn Lynch (ankle), linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring) and receiver Mike Williams (head).
The Seahawks made another roster move, bringing back Allen Bradford as a linebacker on the practice squad and letting go of running back Vai Taua. Bradford was signed to the active roster earlier this week as a running back, but Carroll believes he’ll be a better fit at linebacker. “When we recruited him way back then, he played everything, and he was a great defensive player,” Carroll said about Bradford, who played for him at USC. “And so we’re going to give him a look at that while he’s on the practice squad and see what happens, knowing that he can run the football. And he’ll run the football every day for us.” ... For Cleveland, linebacker Scott Fujita (head) has been ruled out. Cornerback Joe Haden (knee), offensive lineman Artis Hicks (back), running back Peyton Hillis (hamstring), offensive lineman Tony Pashos (ankle), defensive back Ray Ventrone (hamstring) and cornerback Buster Skrine (hip) are listed as questionable. Linebacker Titus Brown (ankle), receiver Josh Cribbs (knee), tight end Evan Moore (ankle) and center Alex Mack (illness) are probable.