A healthy Jackson has much to prove in season finale

Dec 29, 2011, 7:31 PM | Updated: 7:48 pm

By Liz Mathews

Despite the fact that the Seahawks are no longer playing for a spot in the playoffs, the final game of the season remains important to quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and his teammates.

“We’re a young team and I think it would be good for us mentally, coming to the next season, to end on a good note, especially with the way we lost that last game,” Jackson said Thursday. “The record doesn’t really show it — we’re a 7-8 team — but I feel like we’re a better team this year and it would be good for the record to show that, too.

“We feel like we improved a lot throughout the whole season and it would be nice to end at .500 instead of having a losing record.”

The Seahawks face the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, a divisional rival also hoping to finish the season strong — in second place behind the San Francisco 49ers.

And Jackson said that he is not only playing for his teammates, he is also playing for his status in the NFL.

“You want to always have good film, you want to always put on a good showing regardless of (whether) it’s preseason, practice, game, regular season, playoffs — you always want to play your best so you just go out there like it’s a regular game and try to do my best,” Jackson said.

Under contract with the Seahawks through 2012, Jackson has the season finale to leave both head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider with a positive impression heading into the offseason and the draft.

Carroll was asked on Wednesday whether or not he had made a decision on Jackson returning next season as the Seahawks’ starting quarterback.

“Yeah, that’s where we are,” Carroll said. “We know where we are in that regard. That doesn’t mean that we’re not going to look at the draft really hard and all of the opportunities — we’ll always do that at every position. But T-Jack, understanding what this season has been like for him is really important. I don’t think you can look at any one thing other than the fact that he was damaged for about six weeks in there and just kept battling and fighting and made it through it.”

Jackson said on Thursday that he now feels the healthiest he’s been since injuring his pectoral in Week 5.

“When I first got hurt and I knew I was able to play, I was just trying to make sure I could get through each game and hope that I could be able to finish the season and have surgery whenever the season was over but it got better throughout the season and luckily now I feel like I don’t have to have surgery, but just do a couple things to help strengthen it,” Jackson said. “That’s good on my end. I really didn’t want to have to go through that before next season.

“That’s time missed with the guys in OTAs and stuff like that and I didn’t want to miss that time. I feel pretty healthy going into the offseason.”

The Seahawks have a walk-through Friday morning and depart for Arizona Saturday afternoon.

Below is the Thursday practice report.

DID NOT PARTICIPATE

WR Ben Obomanu (knee)
T Breno Giacomini (abdominal)
LB David Hawthorne (knee)
DT Anthony Hargrove (calf)

FULL PARTICIPATION

QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)
LB Malcolm Smith (concussion)
DT Clinton McDonald (concussion)
CB Kennard Cox (hamstring)

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