KIRKLAND – Already trying to adjust to a shortened week, the Seattle Seahawks have another conundrum that needs immediate attention.
How to overcome the loss of Darrell Jackson?
The Seahawks found out Monday that their leading receiver will miss Thursday’s game against San Francisco due to turf toe. Coach Mike Holmgren said there is no timetable for when Jackson will return. Jackson injured the toe on the last drive of Sunday’s loss to Arizona.
Jackson is Seattle’s leading receiver, with 63 receptions, but the Seahawks have shown in the past that they can win without him. Seattle won nine consecutive games while Jackson was sidelined with a knee injury last season.
Holmgren said Monday that Nate Burleson would start in his place Thursday against the 49ers.
Burleson started at split end when the season opened but was soon replaced after the team traded for Deion Branch. Burleson went through a stretch when he rarely saw action on offense, but recently he’s seen more playing time. He caught a 5-yard touchdown pass in Sunday’s loss to Arizona.
“When given the chance and having the ball thrown to him, he’s done a nice job,” Holmgren said of Burleson, who has caught six passes in the past three games and 15 on the season. “He’s feeling more comfortable.”
The injury to Jackson could also open the door for Bobby Engram’s return. Engram has been out since being diagnosed with a thyroid condition during the Oct. 8 bye, but he’s practiced for more than a month.
“I think we’re going to try to fast-forward so Bobby can play a little bit on Thursday night,” Holmgren said. “That’s my hope. … His (medical) numbers have been pretty good for about a week. Hopefully, I have him able to play on Thursday.”
Also hobbled are starting left guard Floyd Womack (groin), defensive tackle Craig Terrill (knee) and defensive end Joe Tafoya (calf).
Womack has a remote chance of playing in Thursday’s game, but it’s more likely that rookie Rob Sims will get his first NFL start.
“If we have to put Rob Sims in at left guard,” Holmgren said, “I think he’ll do just fine.”
Tafoya also has a chance of playing, although it’s unlikely he’ll be able to practice today.
Terrill, on the other hand, is done for the season. He will be placed on injured reserve this week after suffering a torn ligament in his knee Sunday. To add depth at the position, defensive end Robert Pollard will see time inside at tackle.
Holmgren said that a longer week of preparation wouldn’t have affected the status of Jackson or Terrill, but it certainly could have helped Womack and Tafoya in terms of healing time.
But the way this season has gone, Holmgren is used to dealing with injuries.
“Sometimes you get hit,” he said. “Last year, we were pretty fortunate. It happens. It just happens. You do what you have to do to try to plug the holes in the dyke.”