November 29, 2011 in Sports

Seahawks’ QB shows his toughness playing through painful injury

 
Associated Press photo

A pectoral injury has Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson playing with pain and playing inconsistently.
(Full-size photo)

At this point, no one can question Tarvaris Jackson’s toughness, his desire, or his dedication to the team.

What Sunday’s loss to Washington showed we can question, however, is if Jackson should still be playing. That’s not to say Jackson is the primary reason why the Seattle Seahawks lost.

His receivers let him down by repeatedly dropping passes, the defense gave up some unforgivable big plays, and penalties on both sides of the ball again played a big role. But what was evident watching Jackson play Sunday is the Seahawks quarterback is playing hurt, and that the pectoral injury is affecting his play.

For every good throw Jackson made, there seemed to be another that floated in the air too long or got to its target too late. Between plays he moved his arm forward and back as if trying to coax the pain out of his chest. That’s something he has done in games since suffering the injury seven weeks ago in New York, but it is a motion Jackson is making more and more each week.

During one first-half possession, Jackson was throwing during a TV timeout, presumably to stay loose during the brief break in action.

“T-Jack is doing everything he can, but we need to look at the film and see how he played and his decisions and things like that, but I know he’s trying his tail off to get it done,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said following the game Sunday.

Jackson is, as Carroll said, trying his tail off. He knows this is almost certainly his last chance to prove himself as a starting quarterback, and injury or not, he is determined to show he can lead a team.

But he’s also not right from a physical standpoint. According to the FOX broadcast of the game, Jackson’s pectoral muscle is 50 percent torn. Since returning to action from the injury, Jackson has regularly been limited to throwing one day a week in practice, and both he and Carroll have acknowledged that surgery may be required at some point either during the season or after the season if he makes it that long.

Vobora on IR

The Seahawks have placed backup linebacker and special teams standout David Vobora on injured reserve with an apparent shoulder injury.

The Seahawks made the move on Monday, a day after their 23-17 loss to Washington. Vobora was seen in the locker room after the game with a wrap on his left shoulder but the team did not specify Vobora’s injury.

Vobora, who played at Idaho, signed with Seattle on Oct. 4 and primarily played on special teams, although he did play some linebacker on Sunday when David Hawthorne had to leave the game in the third quarter.

To fill Vobora’s spot, Seattle claimed Adrian Moten off waivers.

Leinart won’t return

Houston quarterback Matt Leinart is out for the season with a broken left collarbone, and Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita also could be done with a broken right hand.

Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu, last season’s NFL Defensive Player of the Year, has a suspected concussion and the team did not offer a prognosis.

The Texans lost their second quarterback in as many games; Matt Schaub broke his right foot against Tampa Bay on Nov. 13. Leinart will have surgery next week after breaking his collarbone in a win over Jacksonville.

“I’ve been a little bit part coach, part counselor here the last couple of weeks,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “I’ve got Schauby in my office all-day last Monday and today I’ve got Lefty (Leinart) up there. It’s just difficult. It’s difficult for both of them.”

Fujita, a team leader in Cleveland, played in just nine games last season because of a left knee injury. Browns coach Pat Shurmur says Fujita will miss “a significant amount of time” and it’s possible the club will place the 32-year-old on injured reserve.

Polamalu sat out almost the entire win at Kansas City following a low hit on 6-foot-6, 290-pound Chiefs tackle Steve Maneri. Coach Mike Tomlin said the team held out Polamalu as a precaution; it’s the second time this season Polamalu left a game early following a blow to the head.

Packers LB out of jail

Green Bay Packers linebacker Erik Walden was released from jail after spending the weekend behind bars following his arrest on suspicion of domestic violence.

Walden was arrested Friday in Brown County on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend at their apartment near Green Bay. County District Attorney John Zakowski said Walden’s girlfriend originally told police they were arguing and he pushed her but she has changed her story to say she hit him first.

The woman ultimately ended up with a head laceration from falling onto a bed’s headboard and was treated at a local hospital, Zakowski said. He said it was unclear who called police.

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, court was closed for the weekend and Walden stayed in jail. He was released Monday on a $1,000 signature bond following a hearing in Green Bay.

No formal charges have been filed, though prosecutors are still investigating.

The 26-year-old Walden started all 11 games this season and played in the team’s 27-15 Thanksgiving Day victory over the Lions.


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