Leon Washington makes Seahawks debut, scores 11-yard TD
The most significant comeback Saturday wasn't Green Bay scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter to beat Seattle 27-24 in an exhibition at...
Seattle Times staff reporter
The most significant comeback Saturday wasn't Green Bay scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter to beat Seattle 27-24 in an exhibition at Qwest Field.
Running back Leon Washington made his Seahawks debut and returned to the field after a 10-month absence, capping a long recovery since suffering a season-ending compound fracture of his right leg with the New York Jets last year.
"I feel healthy," said Washington, who finished with a team-high 19 yards on four carries, including an 11-yard touchdown run. He also caught a pass for 6 yards.
"I feel good. I'm going to remain optimistic," he said. "I'll never get satisfied. I'm just trying to get better and better every day. Every day I come out, I feel looser and my leg feels stronger."
Washington entered the game in the second quarter and immediately displayed his trademark quickness that made him a fan favorite during his four seasons with the Jets.
On his first carry, he gained 4 yards bursting through the right side of the line. Two plays later, Washington seemed to disappear into a pile on the left side before squirting through and darting through past the secondary for a score that tied the score at 14 with 12:51 left before halftime.
"How did I look?" Washington asked. "Did I look slow? Honestly, I can't tell. I felt good. I felt like I had my legs under me, but I don't know. I'm just out there running as hard as I can."
Washington said he didn't think about his last game when he was hurt. He admitted he was emotional Saturday, but he was thinking about his uncle George Mangram who died Friday after a long illness.
"A lot of it (the game) was dedicated to him," Washington said. "Most of my emotions were with him because I know he would have liked the chance to see me on the football field. It would have meant a lot to him."
Tale of two quarterbacks
Last week Charlie Whitehurst shined and Matt Hasselbeck flopped. This week, the Seahawks quarterbacks reversed roles.
Hasselbeck rebounded from a poor outing in the first exhibition and finished with 127 yards on 11-for-15 passing, including an 11-yard touchdown toss to Deion Branch in the first quarter.
"Matt played very well," coach Pete Carroll said. "He did a beautiful job of handling himself."
Whitehurst was brilliant against Tennessee while completing 14 of 22 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns.
Against Green Bay, however, he managed just 9-for-20 passing for 73 yards and two interceptions.
• CB Kelly Jennings suffered an elbow injury in the first quarter and did not return.
• LB Lofa Tatupu was suited up and expected to play, but he did not get into the game. DT Brandon Mebane also didn't play.
• DE Kentwan Balmer, who joined the Seahawks last week via a trade with San Francisco, suffered an ankle injury in the second half.
• DE/LB Dexter Davis, a seventh-round pick, recorded a sack for the second straight game. Late in the third quarter, he sacked Green Bay quarterback Matt Flynn, forced a fumble and recovered the ball.
• DE Nick Reed left in the third quarter and had his left knee wrapped in ice and rookie DE E.J. Wilson injured his shoulder.
• K Clint Stitser handled the kicking duties because K Olindo Mare has a sore calf.
Times staff reporter Danny O'Neil
contributed to this report.