RENTON – He’s back.
For the first time in three weeks, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson took snaps from under center during the team portion of practice Friday, an important step to prove that he can play Sunday against Cincinnati at CenturyLink Field.
Jackson missed last week’s game at Cleveland with a strained pectoral muscle, but Friday appeared to throw the deep ball without much discomfort.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll liked what he saw, but still said the decision to start Jackson will come at game time.
Backup Charlie Whitehurst took the majority of the snaps this week and is prepared to get his second start of the season if Jackson can’t go.
Jackson, a full participant at practice, was listed as questionable on Seattle’s injury report.
“It’s good for everyone,” Carroll said about Jackson’s increased workload. “It’s good for us to see it and it’s good for him to feel it. He went out there and felt good about it and we’ve been kind of leaning on showing something on this day. And I know that he’s got a little strut in his step trying to get out there and wing the ball around some, so it’s good in all directions.”
Jackson said it will be important to see how his body recovers from the throwing session, but that he feels good about his chances of playing Sunday.
“It will be interesting to see just exactly how I feel after doing that,” Jackson said. “But I don’t think it will have any affect, or I’ll have a setback after throwing. I think it will be fine, but I guess we’ll see, because it’s kind of a thing where it feels good one day, and the next day it won’t.”
Jackson placed some importance on showing Carroll and the rest of the coaching staff that he’s ready to go.
“They want to see you make throws,” Jackson said. “They don’t want to throw you out there and put you in a bad position, so you can’t be the player you normally are, and make the throws you can normally make. So I think it was good for those guys to see that, and for me to go out there and make the throws to prove that I can do it.”
Jackson said that before the Cleveland game was the best he felt all week and that he was surprised with how well he threw. Jackson also said that Friday’s throwing session felt better than he did before the Browns game.
Jackson said it will be up to Carroll and the rest of the coaching staff to make the call if he plays against Cincinnati.
“Obviously, I want to play,” Jackson said. “But If I can’t be the player I know I can be, I don’t want to go out there and hurt the team. But I feel like it’s time for me to come back. I don’t think this injury can keep me out of the game much longer. We’re 2-4 right now, so I want to get out there so we can get some W’s.”
Carroll said defensive back Roy Lewis will be activated off of the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list and available Sunday. Lewis likely will be Seattle’s nickel defensive back in passing situations.
“I’m just going to go out prepared and ready to go, for all circumstances and all situations,” Lewis said. “Whether I get reps at corner, or only at nickel or at special teams, or a mixture of all three, I’m just going to go out there and be ready.
“I’m not really concerned about taking it easy or playing slow. I’m going to go out there and go 100 percent full speed – that’s the only speed I know.”
With Walter Thurmond out for the season after having ankle surgery earlier this week, rookie cornerback Richard Sherman will get his first career start Sunday.
With Thurmond and Marcus Trufant (back) out for the year, Sherman said he’s taking a next-man-up approach to the position.
“It has to be,” he said. “Because if you don’t have that mindset, then you’re going to go out there and you’re not going to be prepared. And that’s when bad things happen to a defense, and the other 10 guys have worked too hard to have you come in there and not give them everything you have, and be prepared.”
For Seattle, running back Marshawn Lynch (back), tight end Zach Miller (head/neck), center Max Unger (foot), safety Kam Chancellor (knee), safety Atari Bigby (hamstring) and safety Jeron Johnson (ankle) are all probable for Sunday. For Cincinnati, cornerback Nate Clements (knee), tight end Jermaine Gresham (hamstring), cornerback Kelly Jennings (hamstring) and linebacker Dan Skuta (groin) are probable. Linebacker Thomas Howard (hamstring), cornerback Adam Jones (neck) and cornerback Morgan Trent (ankle) are questionable. Jones was activated off the PUP list and is eligible to play in his first game. And linebacker Rey Maualuga (ankle) is out. … Seattle defensive end Red Bryant was fined $15,000 for an unnecessary roughness penalty for head butting Cleveland’s Alex Smith. Bryant was ejected at the end of the Browns game, and plans to appeal the fine.