Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson (22) celebrates his touchdown in front of Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Terence Garvin (57) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)
Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson (22) scores a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half of a preseason NFL football game on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)
RENTON, Washington — After being released by the Buffalo Bills, running back Fred Jackson is looking for an opportunity to reunite with former teammate Marshawn Lynch in Seattle.
Jackson traveled to Seattle to meet with the Seahawks on Tuesday, but coach Pete Carroll cautioned that no deal has been struck. Carroll said Jackson would be going through a physical.
"This is a visit for us. It's not a signing," Carroll said. "We have tremendous respect for Fred as a player. He's obviously got a wealth of background, he's tough, he's sharp, he's smart, so we need to see where he is right now at 34 years old and see what he looks like."
Jackson, an eight-year veteran, became a free agent on Monday when the Bills cut the respected team leader and fan favorite. The interest in Jackson emerged when Seattle learned that backup running back Robert Turbin suffered a significant high-ankle sprain in Saturday's preseason game against San Diego and there is no estimate of when he'll be able to return.
Turbin has served as Lynch's backup since being drafted by the Seahawks in 2012.
"He feels pretty good about it but it definitely showed up in the MRI and all of that," Carroll said.
If Turbin is sidelined for an extensive period, the Seahawks could use what Jackson provides. Though slowed by injuries the past few years, Jackson is a versatile play-maker as a rusher and receiver, and also a dependable blocker.
"He's been a very adept pass catcher and a good pass protector," Carroll said. "He's always been a good runner. He has a great feel and sense."
Jackson and Lynch have been close friends since 2007, when both broke into the NFL with the Bills. Lynch was Buffalo's first-round pick and Jackson made the Bills roster after spending the previous year on the team's practice squad.
The two shared starting duties during the 2009 season. And Jackson took over as the starter after the Bills traded Lynch to Seattle.
The two have stayed in touch, with Jackson noting that he and Lynch exchange texts regularly. Carroll said that relationship isn't a major factor in Seattle's interest.
"I know that Marshawn and he are very good friends and they get along and that's always a good thing, but other than that, that didn't feed into this," Carroll said. "He's just a heck of a football player that might be able to find a role."
At 34, Jackson was the league's oldest running back last season.
The Bills restocked their backfield by acquiring LeSean McCoy in a trade with Philadelphia in March. Jackson was also set to make a $2.5 million base salary in the final season of his contract, which was deemed expensive for a backup.
Jackson's 5,646 yards rushing rank third in Bills history; he is fourth with 30 touchdowns rushing.
Should Jackson and the Seahawks reach an agreement, he'll join an offense that has struggled to get started in the preseason. Seattle has one offensive touchdown in three games.
Continuity along the offensive line should help as Seattle is using the same five for the third straight week. But they're all likely to only get a cameo in the preseason finale on Thursday against Oakland.
"We're not far away. ... Our offense is really clicking in practice," Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson said. "We just haven't translated it yet in terms of finishing the drive on game day. But we will."
NOTES: FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) was no longer wearing a red jersey in practice on Tuesday and is on track to play in the regular season opener against St. Louis. ... WR Chris Matthews (shoulder) is expected to play Thursday against Oakland after missing the previous two preseason games. ... LB Mike Morgan suffered a pulled hamstring against San Diego, but was feeling better Tuesday.
AP Sports Writer John Wawrow contributed to this report.