By SCOTT M. JOHNSON
KIRKLAND – Although the Seattle Seahawks are expecting their largest crowd of the season and the possibility of being televised locally, football fans hoping to see Terrell Davis this weekend are probably out of luck.
Although the Denver Broncos’ running back is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game at Husky Stadium, Davis’ coach isn’t even that optimistic.
“I would be surprised if he did play,” Denver coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday. ” … I would say he’s doubtful at this point.”
Shanahan said Davis underwent an MRI on his left leg, and that the results were negative. He added that Davis will see a specialist to determine the reason for soreness in his ankle and lower leg.
Although Davis is widely considered one of the top running backs in the NFL, his absence wouldn’t be catastrophic. While Davis was out with a knee injury last season, unknown rookie Olandis Gary stepped in and ran for 1,159 yards. This year, with Gary out for the season and Davis hobbled by the leg injury, sixth-round pick Mike Anderson has carried the torch to the tune of 776 rushing yards.
“Those are great running backs,” Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. “One of them (Davis) is unbelievably good. But as long as you continue to gain yards without missing too much, you have to give credit to the guys up front. And they’re very, very strong.”
“They block up front,” cornerback Shawn Springs said of Denver’s offensive line. “That’s what it comes down to. Regardless of who’s back there, you know they’re going to run because of their blocking.”
Denver’s offensive line, despite a knee injury that landed guard Mark Schlereth on injured reserve last week, has been one of the most consistent in the NFL. But the success of the Broncos’ running game still comes down to who is in the backfield.
“The way running games are in this league,” Seahawks defensive coordinator Steve Sidwell said, “if you don’t have a good back, you won’t have a good running game.”
Less than 2,500 tickets still remain, and the league deadline requiring a sellout has been pushed back one day – to Friday at 1 p.m. – because of the holiday.
The Seahawks have not sold out a game all season, and are on pace to go an entire season without a televised home game for the first time since 1996.
Near the end of that game, the Jaguars completed a 45-yard pass on third down to give them a chance to tie the score in the final seconds. It was the second time this season that Seattle’s defense gave up a long pass to a wide open receiver late in the game.
In fact, the last time it happened – during a 37-34 loss to the St. Louis Rams – the Seahawks were in the same defense they played on the near-fatal completion at Jacksonville.
Holmgren thinks he has a remedy.
“You should not see that coverage again in that situation ever, as long as you know me,” he said Wednesday.
Holmgren will spend the day with wife Kathy, two of his daughters, and his four-week-old grandaughter at their Mercer Island home. The Holmgrens will also host a few friends for dinner.
“I have been so good this week. I told Kathy that this morning,” Holmgren said Wednesday. “I bought dessert. I bought a ham. I am in charge of the mashed potatoes.
“We have invited some people to the house I don’t even like that much. You’re not going to write that, are you?”