Tarvaris Jackson Injury: Why Backup QB Charlie Whitehurst Is Hardly a Downgrade

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIOctober 9, 2011

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 02:  Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst #6 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field on September 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson left Sunday's game against the New York Giants in the third quarter with a right shoulder injury. He is questionable to return, but it doesn't look good.

Jackson completed 15 of 22 passes for 166 yards, with one touchdown and an interception before being knocked out of the game. Backup Charlie Whitehurst has taken over for him, and you have to wonder if there will be that much of a downgrade for Seattle.

While Jackson had a decent showing in Week 3, completing 25 of 38 passes for a career-high 319 yards and three touchdowns, he did throw two interceptions and has been a terrible decision-maker throughout his career.

Whitehurst has never really gotten a chance to play extended minutes, as he backed up Matt Hasselbeck last year, and played in only six games. The Seahawks have often praised the six-year veteran's understanding of the offense and decision-making in practice and the preseason.

While Jackson has gotten all the first-team reps this season, if Whitehurst can step in and be comfortable, it's not likely the Seahawks suffer much of a drop off, considering they have the worst offense in the NFL, averaging a league-low 254 yards per game.

Early returns on Whitehurst in today's game have been good, he had completed six of his first eight passes for 52 yards as the third quarter expired.

Obviously that's a small sample size, but he appears comfortable in the pocket and it isn't like he has a whole lot to live up to compared to what Jackson has done so far this year. This might turn out to be a great move for the Seahawks.