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Originally published October 10, 2011 at 8:30 PM | Page modified October 10, 2011 at 10:31 PM

Pete Carroll: No Seahawks quarterback controversy

Coach doesn't know how long strained pectoral muscle will keep starter Tarvaris Jackson out.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Oct. 23

Seahawks @ Browns, 10 a.m., Ch. 13

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RENTON — There is a question at quarterback in Seattle, not a controversy.

The uncertainty surrounds Tarvaris Jackson's health, not his status as coach Pete Carroll's starting quarterback.

"There's no controversy here in this building," Carroll said. "You guys can have all the (controversy) you want."

Well, how about Jackson's strained pectoral muscle, coach? How bad is the injury that knocked Jackson out in the third quarter of Sunday's game at New York?

"We're not going to know for a while," Carroll said. "We won't have him throw the football for a little bit and see what happens."

Carroll didn't rule out the possibility Jackson could be ready for Seattle's next game, Oct. 23 at Cleveland, but he also didn't completely dismiss the possibility of surgery.

The most definitive statement Carroll offered was that Jackson will not throw the ball in the two practices during the Seahawks' bye week.

"Tarvaris will have a chance to get back," Carroll said. "We'll just have to see how the rehab goes."

Carroll said the injury is a high-grade strain. A pectoral tear can be serious enough to require season-ending surgery, which is what happened to linebacker Lofa Tatupu in 2009. Carroll was asked about the possibility of surgery, and Carroll said the current plan is for Jackson to try to rehabilitate the injury.

Jackson isn't the only player whose status is uncertain. Tight end Zach Miller had an MRI because of a neck injury suffered in the first quarter Sunday. Cornerback Marcus Trufant had tests conducted on his back after suffering a bruised sacrum — the large, triangular bone at the base of the spine. Results of those tests weren't known.

Linebacker Leroy Hill (hamstring) and running back Marshawn Lynch (ankle) are unlikely to practice this week; receiver Mike Williams (concussion) is expected back.

All that leaves backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst working with the first-unit offense when Seattle practices Tuesday. Sunday at New York, Whitehurst relieved Jackson and led three scoring drives in the second half, the most important concluding with his 27-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin for the go-ahead score.

That provided a side-by-side comparison between Whitehurst and Jackson, who was proclaimed Seattle's starting quarterback as soon as he signed as a free agent from Minnesota. The subject of Seattle's quarterbacks made for compelling conversation on Monday.

Well, at least it did for some people.

"Is it controversial that you have two quarterbacks that can play?" Carroll said.

Well, coach, which of your two quarterbacks do you think played better Sunday?

"Tarvaris did well throughout, with a couple of throws that he tried to jam in there," Carroll said.

And Whitehurst?

"Charlie had a little span in there that he was a little bit off in trying to get things going," Carroll said. "The cadence and things weren't as exactly the same as Tarvaris. We suffered through that a little bit, but once he got going, he relaxed and was comfortable and played very well. ... I thought they both played well."

One big problem with Jackson, though: He left Sunday's game with his right arm immobilized.

"And I'm still mad at him for running and getting hit when he could have gotten down," Carroll said.

The coach was only partly joking.

Note

• LB Jameson Konz suffered an injury to the anterior-cruciate ligament in his right knee that will require surgery. He's not expected to return this season.

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

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