Tarvaris Jackson didn’t take any snaps in Saturday’s game, but he did field questions from reporters for the first time all week.
At one point, Jackson said he “maybe” could have played if Saturday’s game were a regular-season contest, but later in the post-game interview he admitted that he wasn’t ready after suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament last Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens.
“We’re just trying to be precautionary right now, not trying to go out there and push it,” he said. “It counts, but at the same time it’s preseason. Right now, (I’m) just trying to get better, so my aim is to be 100 percent.”
Head coach Brad Childress said he sat down with Jackson 40 minutes before game time, after Jackson had gone through some warm-ups on the field.
“I made him come sit down with me and tell me exactly where (he was) at, because I told you we were going to treat it exactly like a regular-season game,” Childress said. “I said, ‘What can you do? What can’t you do? What can you do in this game plan and what can’t you do?’ It’s important that you have that honesty. In fact, he could have played. He could have played a certain way with a certain menu of plays and probably would have had to stay in the pocket. That’s not the prudent thing to do. There may be a time when he has to play the game that way. I thought he did a good job in pushing to that. He’ll only get better here as we go on.”
Jackson said it wasn’t hard to be honest about his situation in that pregame meeting.
“It wasn’t hard at all. I wasn’t ready, to the point where under these circumstances I really wasn’t ready to play,” he said.
Jackson isn’t sure if he’ll be ready for Thursday night’s preseason finale at Dallas, but he said there is “no doubt” he’ll be ready to go for the regular-season opener against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
“It’s sore a little bit, but it’s a lot better than it was when I first hurt it, a lot better than it was when I woke up Sunday morning. But I still have a little ways to go and still have to treat it every day,” he said.
He had been wearing a brace during his limited participation in practice last week and said he’d prefer not to wear that brace during games. Right now, his knee is giving him the most trouble while he’s running and making cuts. Planting and throwing isn’t as much of an issue.
“Probably making cuts and different things like that. That’s pretty much it. Straight ahead stuff is fine,” he said. “… Dropping back, I can do it, to the point where there is no pain. Especially with the brace on, I really don’t feel it.”
After missing four starts last year with thumb, groin and head injuries, Jackson said he doesn’t care about being labeled as injury-prone.
“I really don’t care about that stuff. Stuff that I’ve been getting is stuff that I really can’t control. There are different things that you control, but ligaments and cartilage and stuff like that, you really can’t control that stuff. So, I really don’t care about that label at all,” he said.
What he can control is how he approaches the game, but, despite injuring his knee on a 9-yard scramble that he could have ended with a slide, he said he isn’t going to change.
“I’m still not sliding,” he said.