Darrell Jackson Returns to Practice

Almost six months after the procedure on the knee that had kept him off the field since Super Bowl XL, Seahawks wide receiver Darrell Jackson finally returned to practice on Monday.

Late last week, Jackson passed the physical that, if he had failed it, would have forced the Seahawks to place him on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, causing him to miss at least the first six weeks of the season.

Jackson missed ten games in 2005 after his first surgery was performed on October 12. He suffered a torn lateral meniscus in his right leg in early October. The damage was discovered by a Miami-based orthopedist when Jackson flew to Florida for a second opinion on what was previously concerned a bone bruise. In March, the knee was “cleaned out” in a minor surgical procedure after some flaking was discovered. “It was a little clean-up,” Jackson remembered today when speaking to the media. “I never really fully recovered from my first surgery because of the playoff race and the Super Bowl run, I was at about 75 percent. After the season they had to go in and fine-tune it.”

At this time, Jackson is expected to practice all week and may be ready to play on Sunday in Detroit against the Lions. Today after a limited-action practice, the receiver said that the feeling was “about what I expected - I felt pretty good. The more routes I would run the more comfortable I will be, the better I will be and the more in shape I am going to be.”

“It’s coming along,” Jackson said, when asked about his leg strength. Part of the delay in getting him back on the field was the need to rebuild the muscles around the knee. “It’s not as strong as my left leg, but it’s coming along. I’m pretty happy with it. I’m pretty happy with the progress and it can only get better.”

Now, it’s all about getting comfortable again with the offense – running the routes and making sure he’s all the way back. To Jackson, that challenge will be a welcome one after the frustration of a long-term recovery. “The worst thing is not being able to participate with the team, or not being able to run, in my case,” he said. “Sometimes you want to get up and go across the den, but you can’t because you have to rest your leg, or play with your kids, but you can’t because you have to rest and try to get strong. That was the hardest part.”

How long will it take him to get back in the swing? “I’m comfortable as soon as I step back on the field. As far as running routes and getting into a rhythm it takes a couple days, a couple weeks, whatever it takes. I feel pretty comfortable every time I line up."

“In my mind, I can do anything,” he continued. “It all depends on the amount of opportunities I get and the amount of balls they throw me and then I can go from there. I think I can do well anytime.”

When asked about the chances he’ll be ready for the opener, the Seahawks’ leading receiver in 2004 sounded cautiously optimistic. “We will have to wait until Sunday to find out. I think we’re pushing towards that, and we will know then.”

Jackson caught 38 passes for 482 yards and three touchdowns in six games in 2005, rebounding to make a real impact in the postseason. He had surpassed the 1100-yard mark in both 2003 and 2004. 2006 will be his seventh season.


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