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Originally published October 28, 2011 at 8:26 PM | Page modified October 28, 2011 at 8:56 PM

Seahawks starting quarterback will be a game-time decision

Tarvaris Jackson is listed as questionable, but took part in practice Friday.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Sunday

Cincinnati @ Seattle, 1:15 p.m., Ch. 7

quotes By choosing between Charlie who did not have a splendid game in his 3rd NFL start, or... Read more
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RENTON — The injury report says quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is questionable with a strained pectoral muscle.

His status didn't sound nearly so uncertain after he took part in Friday's practice, throwing extensively for the first time in five days.

"That's a very good sign," coach Pete Carroll said of Jackson. "He felt the best and he got the most work and so we'll see what happens."

Jackson's status will come down to a game-time decision, but he said Friday was the best he has felt since suffering the injury in the third quarter at the New York Giants on Oct. 9.

"I put a little more mustard on the ball," Jackson said, "just playing catch. It will be interesting to see exactly how I feel after doing that. I don't think it will have an effect or have a setback after throwing. I think it should be fine, but I guess we'll see."

Jackson was on the field for practice Wednesday and Thursday, but did not participate in throwing drills, leaving backup Charlie Whitehurst to work with the first-unit offense.

That changed Friday when Jackson did more at practice.

"He's got a little strut in his step trying to get out there and wing the ball around some," Carroll said. "So it's good in all directions."

No one made any definitive statements about whether Jackson would start or if Whitehurst subs for Jackson for the second week in a row, but Jackson is certainly going to be a consideration.

There's even less doubt about the other three starters who missed last week's game because of injury. Tight end Zach Miller (concussion), center Max Unger (foot) and running back Marshawn Lynch are all listed as probable, which means there's a virtual certainty they will be available for normal duty. Safeties Atari Bigby (hamstring) and Jeron Johnson (foot), who sat out practice Thursday, are also probable.

For the Bengals, linebacker Rey Maualuga is out with an ankle injury while Adam "Pac-Man" Jones was activated to the 53-man roster, but is questionable.

The big question is Jackson, who had the Seahawks' offense on an upward trend over the first five games until he was injured on a quarterback option run. Whitehurst kept Seattle's offense humming against the Giants, but any progress the Seahawks made ground to a halt last week in Cleveland.

The Seahawks had one red-zone possession, scored only a field goal and finished with their lowest net-yardage total in two years. On Sunday, the Seahawks play the Bengals, who have a defense that has allowed the second-fewest yards in the league.

Jackson warmed up before last week's game in Cleveland, and Carroll said the quarterback was close to being available. Jackson has continued in his recovery, and he said Friday's practice gave coaches a chance to view his progress.

"I think it was more important for the coaches to see it than me," Jackson said. "They don't want to throw you out there, throw you in a bad position when you can't really make the plays that you normally can make. So I think it was good for those guys to see that, for me to go out there and make the throws and prove to myself I can do it."

Jackson said the issue is whether he can make all the throws he needs to, and if he is available to play, he won't be limited to the underneath passing game.

"If I play, I'm going to be able to throw the deep ball," Jackson said.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

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