Seahawks QB Tarvaris Jackson likes Chicago weather report
Tarvaris Jackson made his NFL debut five years ago with the Vikings at Chicago in freezing conditions. The expected sunshine and 40-degree temperatures for Sunday's game sounds good to Jackson and the Seahawks.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seattle @ Chicago,
10 a.m., Ch. 13
The skies should be clearer Sunday than they were for the Seahawks' last trip to Chicago, which was for a January playoff game that took place amid snow flurries.
The temperature is almost certain to be warmer than it was five years ago for Tarvaris Jackson's NFL debut, and for that Seattle's quarterback is thankful.
"I was checking the weather throughout the whole week," Jackson said. "It's supposed to be pretty good."
The forecast is for sunshine and a game-time temperature in the 40s for the game Sunday in Chicago, a site that both the Seahawks and their quarterback know well. Jackson began his career with the Vikings, who play the division-rival Bears twice a year, and he attempted his first regular-season pass in Chicago.
Seattle has its own bit of history with the city. This will be the Seahawks' third game at Chicago in the span of 15 months. They beat the Bears at Soldier Field in Week 6 last year and lost a division playoff game in January.
"We've had a great day there," coach Pete Carroll said. "And we've had a day we'd like to forget. We know the spectrum."
Seattle played under the sun in October, and in the snow in January, but never in weather as cold as Jackson's NFL debut Dec. 3, 2006. Jackson was a rookie with Minnesota, the Vikings' second-round draft choice and their third-string quarterback that afternoon.
"I'm on the sideline with my little clipboard," Jackson said. "All you can see is my eyes because I've got a mask on and I'm all covered up with a big jacket."
The Vikings pulled starter Brad Johnson, backup Brooks Bollinger got hurt, and suddenly Jackson was in the game.
"It was the coldest I've ever been," Jackson said.
Teammates already teased him about the difficulty in understanding him through his Southern accent. The cold numbed his lips and certainly didn't help his pronunciation.
"It was negative-18 wind chill outside," he said.
Well, maybe not that cold. The box score from the game lists the game-time temperature as 20 degrees and a wind chill of 6.
Sunday will be different. Not just for Jackson, but for Seattle. In the playoff game last January, the Seahawks lost the only two tight ends on their roster early in the game when John Carlson suffered a concussion and Cameron Morrah suffered a toe injury so severe he eventually needed surgery.
Without a tight end available for most of the rest of the game, a huge chunk of Seattle's game plan became irrelevant, and when the Seahawks' receivers had trouble holding onto the ball, things got lopsided in a hurry. Seattle trailed 28-0 late in the third quarter before the Seahawks mounted a late scoring flurry. The Bears won 35-24.
"I didn't feel like we dealt with the circumstances," Carroll said, referring to the weather. "On a day we weren't able to run the football, it really was amplified."
Seattle's running game has improved since then, and the footing in Chicago should be better with no snow.
• LG Robert Gallery left the game Monday in the fourth quarter because of a sore hip and sat out practice Wednesday and Thursday. He returned to the field Friday. "Good to go," Carroll said. Gallery is one of eight Seahawks listed as probable, meaning there's a virtual certainty they will play.
• Devin Hester, the Bears' kick returner extraordinaire, is listed as questionable after suffering an ankle injury in practice Thursday. He did not practice Friday and the Bears consider there's a 50 percent chance Hester will play.
• OL Jarriel King is the only Seahawk whose status is uncertain. He is questionable because of a sore hamstring.
• RB Marshawn Lynch was fined $5,000 by the NFL for a uniform violation in the game Monday against St. Louis, presumably for the neon green socks he wore.
• QB Jay Cutler and RB Matt Forte were ruled out for Chicago for Sunday. Cutler is recovering from a broken thumb on his throwing hand, and was never considered to have a serious chance at playing. On Wednesday, coach Lovie Smith wouldn't rule out the possibility of Forte playing two weeks after he suffered a knee injury. However, after Forte failed to make practice this week, he was announced as being out.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @dannyoneil.
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