One of the few Seahawks misfires from a formidable offensive show against the Chicago Bears Friday was the fourth-quarter moment when Terrelle Pryor, the No. 3 quarterback, floated up an awkward duck that was intercepted — a reminder of exactly the kind of pass Russell Wilson never throws.
It stood out because Pryor will get most of the time Thursday in the preseason finale in Oakland against the Raiders, his old team, where he started nine games last year, then asked to be traded after the Raiders acquired Matt Schaub.
There was another reason the pick was noteworthy — the St. Louis Rams are in the market for a quarterback after Sam Bradford was lost for the season with a re-injury of the same knee that cost him most of 2013.
The Rams insist that Shaun Hill, 34, a journeyman who hasn’t started an NFL game since 2010, will be their starter because he knows the playbook. But what happens should he get hurt? No experience behind him.
So Pryor is on the speculative list of potential pursuits by the Rams. Then again, so is Tarvaris Jackson, the Seahawks No. 2 QB and more prepared than Pryor to assume an NFL command.
Coach Pete Carroll didn’t indulge the speculation. He did insist that Pryor’s pick, one of two passes in eight snaps, was not representative of his progress in Seattle since the Raiders in spring were sent a seventh-round draft pick for him.
“He really didn’t get a chance to do much,” Carroll said. “He threw a ball away, hastily. But he needs to get out there and play. Hopefully this week, we will get a good dose of that.
“He’s been a really good student of the game. He just dove into it, taking great pride in commanding in the huddle. Right from the start, he was very impressive. We can call the whole offense. He’s an explosive, dynamic football player. He’s done a good job.”
Certainly his 44-yard TD run against San Diego a week earlier made that point. But Pryor’s passing skills have been erratic, and he has yet to demonstrate mastery of the run-throw decision-making that has been a Wilson hallmark.
Whether Carroll is genuine in his regard for Pryor or marketing him to other teams with a chance to get a draft-choice return better than a seventh, is not clear. Nor is it clear whether Carroll thinks this year he needs a third QB after getting away easily with two in 2013.
“Sometimes you just can’t afford not to have three guys because they’re so good, and you just got to have them,” he said. “We were very fortunate that we made it through with the two-QB thing last year.
“Russell’s young and physical. He can handle the pounding. He’s not a guy that puts himself in harm’s way very often. The two-QB thing really helps you, because you get another football player on your team. But sometimes you can’t afford to do it because your (players at other positions) are too good.”
However it plays out, the deciding moments will come on Oakland’s crappy field against a team that probably feels it owes him a lick or two.
“Yeah,” Carroll said. “That’s how it goes sometimes.”
Wagner back, Farwell out
MLB Bobby Wagner practiced Monday and appears ready to play Thursday, which would be his first game action since straining a hamstring earlier in camp.
“It was great,” he said. “I got tired of watching everybody have fun. So it was good to have fun too.
“I feel fine. I’ve been doing as much conditioning as I possibly can. When I got out there, I didn’t feel tired at all. I feel like I’m still in pretty good shape.”
News wasn’t so good elsewhere in the linebacker group. Reserve LB and special-teams ace Heath Farwell tore a groin muscle Friday and will likely undergo surgery, according to Carroll.
“That’s a very, very difficult situation for him,” he said. “He had extensive damage and everything points to surgery.”
Farwell, 32, is traveling to the East Coast for a further evaluation. He had a sack in his five tackles, including another for loss, Friday in a bid to retain his spot on the team. Farwell is in the final of a three-year deal that could pay him $4.5 million. He counts $1.66 million against the salary cap this year, which makes him more vulnerable to being cut.
Unsurprisingly, Seahawks preseason TV ratings are at an all-time high. More than 451,800 households watched the Chicago game Friday. For the three games, the Seahawks average 24.4 households and a 46 share. The four games in 2013 were a 20.1 and 40. . . Backup TE Cooper Helfet strained a knee Friday and is day to day . . . OLB Bruce Irvin is practicing and may play Thursday for the first time. He is the last likely defensive starter who has yet to see game action besides Wagner . . . Rookie WR Kevin Norwood, recovering from surgery to remove a bone spur, won’t play but might return next week.