Seahawks downplay Hasselbeck's hand

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor


Associated Press

KIRKLAND, Wash. - Matt Hasselbeck has a bruised hand, perhaps even a broken finger.
But the standard for Seahawks fractures, infections and hospitalizations has been set ridiculously high during Seattle's season of attrition. So a Pro Bowl quarterback's mangled fingers on his non-throwing hand that has him listed as probable for Sunday night's game at Denver?
Big whoop.
"Like my dad said, 'It's your left hand. Suck it up,'" Hasselbeck said Wednesday, referring to rugged former NFL tight end Don Hasselbeck.
Coach Mike Holmgren said that his quarterback is "fine," will start Sunday and should have no limitations. Holmgren then playfully marveled at breathless reports over Hasselbeck's minor injury that began circulating Seattle late Tuesday.
"Goodness gracious," Holmgren said. "I mean, I'd be the last one to be critical of these Watergate-type investigative reporters, because I think that was a very important time in our history. It was important that story came out.
"THIS, however, is not one of those situations. ... So in an effort to 'break the big one,' I am going on record saying this is not that big a deal. OK?
"Golly sakes."
Hasselbeck had four turnovers but also threw three touchdown passes in his first game Monday night after missing four weeks with a sprained knee. He said he injured the top of the palm of his left hand between the index and middle fingers sometime during the second quarter of the win against Green Bay.
As for the knee, Hasselbeck said it was "a little sore."
"I hadn't played football in a long time," he said.
He practiced Wednesday with the same black brace encasing his right knee, a wrap and glove over his left hand and his middle fingers taped together. He received only one direct snap - accidentally, when both he and center Chris Spencer forgot about the injury.
Hasselbeck said he'll be back to taking snaps Thursday.
When pressed on the injury, Holmgren said he thinks "there's probably a little something that's broken" in Hasselbeck's hand.
Holmgren said Hasselbeck's three interceptions and lost fumble that Green Bay returned for a touchdown - all before halftime - had nothing to do with the injury. The coach said rust from Hasselbeck's monthlong layoff caused two uncharacteristic misreads of defenders and stare-downs of intended receivers. And he dismissed Hasselbeck's third interception, which deflected off the facemask of Packers defensive lineman Ryan Pickett, as "unlucky."
"He played a pretty good game - except for four plays," Holmgren said. "It's just good to have your leader back."
The leader of Seattle's offensive line, Pro Bowl center Robbie Tobeck, will not be back to play the Broncos. Holmgren said that although Tobeck is out of the hospital after spending his Thanksgiving weekend there getting intravenous antibiotics for an abscess on his hip, he won't get blood tests to see if the infection has dissipated until Monday. So Spencer, Seattle's 2005 first-round draft choice, will remain the starting center indefinitely.
The leading Seahawks receiver from last season, Bobby Engram, won't be back Sunday, either. Holmgren said Engram, listed as probable, will miss his eighth consecutive game because medication to slow his accelerated heart rate from a thyroid condition is still fatiguing him.
Darrell Jackson, who leads the NFL with nine touchdown receptions, watched the indoor practice but did not participate Wednesday. He is listed as probable with a right knee injury.
Holmgren said starting right tackle Sean Locklear will be a game time decision Sunday because of his high left ankle sprain. He has missed the last five games.
The Seahawks also placed fullback Josh Parry (foot) on injured reserve and signed tight end Bennie Joppru, a second-round draft choice by Houston in 2003 who has played in one game during four NFL seasons.