A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 15:
Tarvaris Jackson. If it’s Thursday, the starting quarterback talks to the media. But Jackson’s post-practice Q&A session was different today.
He faced reporters and cameras for 9½ minutes and not once was Jackson asked about the condition of his right shoulder. That’s the one with the strained pectoral, which has been the major – and at times only – topic of conversation when it came to Jackson since he injured it in the Week 5 upset of the Giants.
Even more telling than his lack of words about the shoulder after practice were his actions during the 110-minute session that was held in the indoor practice facility, as the team continued to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Bears in Chicago. In the 9-on-7 drill early in practice, Jackson was not handing off to the backs – often his only reps in practice in the past two months. Instead, he was on the other end of the field, throwing passes in the 1-on-1 drill. For the first time in six to eight weeks, by his estimation.
“I guess that’s good, on both counts,” he said after his interview was completed.
That it is. So rather than talking about pain management and trying to play on limited practice reps as he has for weeks, Jackson was able to discuss other subjects:
Like playing for the first time in the NFL as a rookie in 2006, against the Bears in Chicago: “My fondest memory, and probably the one that sticks out in my head the most, is my first game I ever played there. It was negative-18 wind-chill. It was horrible out there. Every time I talk about Chicago, I always bring up that story. … I was the third quarter that day and they took the first-string guy out (Brad Johnson) and the second-string guy got hurt (Brooks Bollinger). I’m on the sideline with my little clipboard and all you can see is my eyes because I’ve got a mask on and I’m all covered up in a big jacket. It was the coldest I’ve ever been.”
Like Skittle-back Marshawn Lynch, and his habit of munching his favorite candy on the sideline during games: “The camera just caught my man over on the sideline eating his Skittles. He always does it. But it just so happened that lately they caught him eating them and it’s taken off. At least he’ll probably get some free Skittles, probably get an endorsement. Maybe get him on a commercial with a little leprechaun or something. I don’t know, whatever works, man. That’s what he does, so I’m jumping on the bandwagon myself.”
Like what type of candy he would go for in an endorsement deal: “Skittles. The purple bag (wild berry) though, not the red bag (originals). The purple bag is more tropical.”
IN ’N OUT
Middle linebacker and leading tackler David Hawthorne and leading receiver Doug Baldwin returned to practice after sitting out on Wednesday. But cornerback Richard Sherman did not practice and was replaced on the left side by fellow rookie Byron Maxwell.
Sitting out for a second day was left guard Robert Gallery, who was replaced by Allen Barbre.
Here’s the official injury report:
Did not practice
DE Raheem Brock (calf)
OG Robert Gallery (hip)
OT Jarriel King (hamstring)
CB Richard Sherman (knee)
CB Kennard Cox (hamstring)
LB Leroy Hill (neck)
QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)
WR Doug Baldwin (ankle)
LB David Hawthorne (knee)
For the Bears:
Did not practice
QB Jay Cutler (right thumb)
RB Matt Forte (knee)
DT Henry Melton (shin)
CB Charles Tillman (knee)
WR Sam Hurd (not injury related)
OG Edwin Williams (calf)
S Major Wright (shoulder)
One of the “on this date” moments for today involved a 1991 game against the Falcons in Atlanta – and at old Fulton County Stadium – when Deion Sanders intercepted two passes and returned a third 55 yards for touchdown after taking a lateral from Tim McKyer.
But there’s a story to go with the story.
Sitting side by side in the last row of the press box were M.C. Hammer and Evander Holyfield. As McKyer pitched the ball to Sanders, they stood up. Arms raised and hips gyrating, Hammer exclaimed, “Put a move on ’em, D. Put a move on ’em.”
Sanders did exactly that, and then some, as Hammer and Holyfield exchanged five-highs, fist-bumps and huge smiles.
STAT DU JOUR
It is “Turnover Thursday” on the Pete Carroll Calendar, but today it was slanted toward talk of just how good the Bears are at forcing them. “That was the first thing we talked about when we came in on Wednesday – make sure we protect the ball,” said Jackson, who should know because he spent the past five seasons playing with the Vikings and against the Bears twice a year. “They’re ball hawks. They go after the football. They take pride in taking away the football.”
The Bears are plus-8 in turnover ratio. Here’s a closer look at where they rank in the league in the major turnover categories:
The players will practice Friday morning before the team flies to Chicago for Sunday’s game.
The Seahawks play their home finale on Christmas Eve against the 49ers. Tickets are available for the Dec. 24 game at CenturyLink Field and can be purchased here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“It’s almost like they really put themselves in a position where they’re ball control and they’re putting it on their defense. It’s ball control, the points will come, let’s move the ball, let’s take what the defense gives us and if we have to punt, we punt.” – defensive coordinator Gus Bradley on how the Bears offense has changed while playing without Cutler and Forte