A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 2:
Tarvaris Jackson. The Seahawks’ starting quarterback stepped back in as the starter in practice today for the first time since straining the pectoral in his right shoulder in the Week 5 upset of the New York Giants.
Jackson took the starter reps during the 105-minute session and is on track to start Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys after sitting out the loss to the Cleveland Browns two weeks ago and then replacing backup Charlie Whitehurst in the second quarter of last week’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
“He feels the best he’s felt, but he’s still not well yet,” coach Pete Carroll said. “But we’ll manage him through it and hopefully have a week of continuity and his comfort with the game plan and all of that will help.”
Last week, Jackson did not take significant snaps in practice until Friday and the coaches then decided to try and buy him another week to rest his throwing shoulder by starting Whitehurst. This week, it’s Jackson’s show to run after he passed for a season-high 323 yards against the Bengals.
Jackson’s return also could mean a return to the productivity the offense was getting with its no-huddle before he was injured.
“Tarvaris has a great handle on it. He really does a nice job,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said after practice. “He understands the tempo that we’re looking for. He understands that he can speed it up as fast as we need to. But then there’s times where you’re just trying to make sure you’re doing the right things, so he can slow it down, as well.
“You can play many different tempos by not huddling, and I think he’s really got a real feel for that.”
Carroll went that one better, offering, “I think it’s really something that Tarvaris is special at – he has a knack. … He’s a bigger factor in it than maybe we would have thought when we first started out.”
Kam Chancellor. Whenever a Seahawks player gets some national recognition, it’s a good thing. Being named to a midseason All-Pro team? All the better.
Chancellor, the second-year strong safety who’s in his first season as the starter, made Peter King’s midseason team that will be included in this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated.
Chancellor has three of the team’s eight interceptions, also leads in passes defensed (six) and ranks fourth with 43 tackles.
King on Chancellor: “The 6-3 Chancellor conjures memories of giant Cincy safety David Fulcher. Chancellor hits like his hero, Sean Taylor.”
Chancellor on King’s selection: “It feels good to get recognized, but I’ve still got to stay humble and keep playing and improving my game.”
Jon Kitna. The Cowboys’ backup QB is no stranger. Kitna started 33 games for the Seahawks from 1997-2000 after signing with the club in 1996 as a free agent out of Central Washington University.
Since leaving the Seahawks, the former QB from Tacoma’s Lincoln High School has played with the Bengals (2001-05), Detroit Lions (2006-08) and, for the past three seasons, the Cowboys. He started nine games last season when Tony Romo was injured, passing for 2,365 yards with 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
“Jon’s been great,” Romo said today during a conference-call interview. “He’s a consummate professional. He comes to work every day, he’s got a great attitude. He knows the game. I’ve said for awhile, he’s by far, I think, the best backup in the league and we’re lucky to have him.”
High praise, indeed, for a kid from Tacoma whose improbable NFL career is now in its 15th season.
“I was such an admirer of his throughout his career when he was playing other places – just kind of the player he’s been and also the kind of person he’s been,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “We had an opportunity to get him a couple years ago (in a trade with the Lions) and were really excited about that. He’s been just a tremendous asset to our team.”
“He’s a guy who helps your football team in so many different ways. He certainly helps our quarterback room, but he helps everybody. He’s a very competitive guy, but also understands team and understands how to bring the best out of everybody.”
Safety Chris Maragos made a hasty departure from CenturyLink Field after Sunday’s game. That’s because his wife had just given birth to a son in Michigan. Micah Maragos checked in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces.
His wife is from Michigan, so when Maragos was released by the San Francisco 49ers in September she went there rather than to Seattle.
“I found out Saturday that they were going to induce her,” Maragos said. “I kind of hemmed and hawed and talked to her about hopping on a plane and missing the game. But we talked about it and just felt like I needed to be there playing, and then come back after the game.”
IN ’N OUT
Here’s the official injury report:
Did not practice
LB Leroy Hill (knee)
TE Cameron Morrah (toe/knee)
DT Alan Branch (knee/hip)
SS Kam Chancellor (knee)
WR Mike Williams (hamstring)
QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)
Rookie Malcolm Smith got a lot of work in practice for Hill, while Atari Bigby replaced Chancellor, Ben Obomanu filled in for Williams and Anthony Hargrove worked for Branch during team drills.
For the Cowboys:
Did not practice
CB Mike Jenkins (hamstring)
RB Felix Jones (ankle)
OG Kyle Kosier (foot)
LB Sean Lee (wrist)
P Matt McBriar (foot)
QB Tony Romo (ribs)
Lee is holding out hope that he’ll be able to play Sunday with the wrist he dislocated in last week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, but the Dallas Morning News is reporting that club officials are skeptical that Lee will be available. They’re still trying to decide if Lee can wear a cast on the wrist or if surgery is the best option. Keith Brooking and Bradie James will play in the base and nickel defenses if Lee can’t go.
STAT DU JOUR
As good as the Seahawks defense has been this season, the league’s 13th ranked unit has been even better in the second half. The defense has allowed two second-half touchdowns to lead the league. Here are the top NFL teams in that category:
Team TDs allowed
“Turnover Thursday,” when the players will have an afternoon practice. Carroll always stresses taking the ball away, but the Seahawks have forced 10 turnovers compared to turning the ball over 13 times. Their minus-3 ratio ties for 22nd in the league.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I’m seeing the things that he’s able to do that gives us a chance to run an offense like we like to run it and he’s added to what we thought he could do by growing with him and learning about it.” – Carroll on Jackson