Matt Hasselbeck began this week in what his coach described as excruciating pain.
The Seahawks quarterback was too intense in his rehabilitation, trying to accelerate his return from a broken rib.
"Yeah, Monday was a tough day. In the 17 days that we've had here, that was probably the worst day," Hasselbeck said, referring to the time since 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis hit him high in the back on a dive for the goal line on Sept. 20.
By Wednesday, he had willed himself through Seattle's entire practice.
He wore bulky rib pads and twisted to stretch his torso throughout his first on-field work since the injury.
It shows, in coach Jim Mora's words, how Hasselbeck "is without question doing everything possible to get out on the football field" for Sunday's home game against Jacksonville (2-2).
It also shows how desperate his 1-3 team is to save its season after three consecutive losses. Seattle is already essentially three games behind San Francisco (3-1) for first place in the NFC West.
"The team has not started off the way that we wanted to, the way that we expected to," Hasselbeck said moments after he split first-team plays with backup Seneca Wallace, the starter the last two games.
"Again this week, coach Mora asked each guy to basically answer the question, 'What are you willing to sacrifice for this team to have the kind of season we want to have?' Sometimes it's more time to come back from an injury. Sometimes you just got to find a way, even if you don't know how. You just got to find it."
He found a way to practice. Can he find a way to play against the Jaguars?
"I don't know," he said. "I want to be fair to the team. I think, right now, what my job is is just to give the coaching staff and my teammates everything I've got, and at the same time, be fair to Seneca. And then let the coaching staff make a decision based on what the film looks like, if I'm able to make the throws, obviously talk to the team doctor and the trainers and all that."
Hasselbeck, who missed nine games last season with a bulging disk in his back, gave a tepid "OK" assessment of his practice. He said throwing remains his biggest issue.
Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp once coached Steve Young in San Francisco when the Hall of Fame quarterback played with a broken rib. He said Hasselbeck looked somewhat out of football shape but that his energy was "excellent" and his throwing motion was fine.
"The fact he went through the whole practice and all the periods was a good sign," Knapp said.
Amid the uncertainty about whether he will play against the Jaguars, Hasselbeck knows one thing: he's switching rib pads.
"Well, I was wearing rib pads when I got hurt, so those are going in the trash," he said. "I'm going with a new company."
Mora is wowed by Hasselbeck's determination to help save Seattle's season. The coach has set a goal of winning these two remaining games before the bye, including next week's home game against division rival Arizona, with the hope the week off will get the battered Seahawks back to full health.
Five more starters have already been declared out for Sunday's game _ offensive linemen Walter Jones, Sean Locklear and Rob Sims, linebacker Leroy Hill and cornerback Marcus Trufant.