ATLANTA The announcement came early in the first period of Seattles playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons: Seattle tight end Zach Miller has a foot injury, his return is questionable.
Actually, his return was remarkable.
After a quick retreat to the locker room for treatment, Miller not only returned to the field, he finished with eight catches for 142 yards and a touchdown.
The yardage was a yard short of the Seahawks postseason record (Darrell Jackson versus Washington on Jan. 14, 2006).
It was a career high in yards for Miller, who also had four critical catches in the Jan. 6 win over Washington in the wild-card round. But it wasnt enough Sunday as the Seahawks lost, 30-28. on a late Falcons field goal.
It was nice to get some balls like that, but were disappointed we didnt win. We were so close (but) if theres any solace, I dont feel that right now, Miller said.
As was the case in Washington, when they fell behind 14-0, the Hawks were slow starters again Sunday, trailing at halftime, 20-0.
I wouldnt say we get rattled, Miller said of the deficit. We realize, Hey, we gotta stop messing around and go score some points. We just didnt play well in the first half. We had some drives but we just didnt get points out of them. And that came back to haunt us.
Miller cant be blamed for their falling short.
He did a tremendous job today ... and all season, quarterback Russell Wilson said. Hes a true fighter; makes great catches, runs great routes, is a great blocker. Hes a tough, tough player.
Miller said he felt a painful pop in his left foot on the first series. He recognized the pain and diagnosed it himself torn plantar fascia having suffered the same injury on his other foot.
I just had to get a little injection and come back out, he said. Ive done it with my other foot before so I know I can play with it.
After his important contribution against the Redskins, it would seem that the Falcons defense would focus on him.
Sometimes they just didnt cover me, Miller said. Theyre playing that three-deep coverage and leaving the seams open and I was able to get open. Sometimes they were blitzing and leaving me open, or running a guy from the other side of the field to cover me and Russell did a great job of seeing it and getting the ball to me quick.
Miller has been one of the ultimate team players, having sacrificed catching passes last season while the Seahawks needed him to stay on the line to help with shaky protection.
But his efforts have been highly visible this season.
He had a fantastic football game, coach Pete Carroll said. He got hurt early in the game and he stuck in there and finished it. The guy was all over the place. He did well catching the ball and making plays. It was his day today and Russell found him all day long.
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440