Wednesday in Hawkville
Matt Hasselbeck. But he didn’t even practice. And that’s precisely the point. When you have only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster and the starter sits out, it’s noteworthy. When the backup – Charlie Whitehurst – has yet to throw a regular-season pass in his NFL career, the starter not practicing is news.
But coach Pete Carroll is hoping it’s only a one-day headline as the Seahawks prepare for Sunday’s game against the 5-2 New York Giants at Qwest Field.
“He’s feeling pretty good and we’ll look for him to practice tomorrow,” Carroll said of Hasselbeck, who got a slight concussion while being sacked a career-high eight times in last week’s loss to the Raiders in Oakland.
And just because Hasselbeck failed to take any snaps today does not mean he just stood around and watched.
“He’s still involved with everything that’s going on,” Carroll said. “We’ll see how he does in the morning (walk-thru) tomorrow.”
So Carroll is hopeful that Hasselbeck will play against the Giants? “Yeah, I am,” he said. “I think that just talking to him and being around him, he feels pretty good and all. Just to do all of the right stuff we have to give him a good day break – which he can use at this time of year anyway.
“So we’ll take advantage of this on the other side of it and help Charlie get as many turns as he can and look forward to Matt jumping back in tomorrow.”
The Giants are preparing as if Hasselbeck will play.
“Well, I think you expect that Matt will play,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “He’s a seasoned veteran. I don’t think one day off is going to affect him in any way. We would prepare knowing full well of the athleticism of everybody there, and we would prepare first of all for Matt.
“And of course we would have Whitehurst in mind while we’re doing that. But we would prepare for Matt.”
Left tackle. It was Chester Pitts today, but who will it be tomorrow? With first-round draft choice Russell Okung not ready to return – as expected – and backup Tyler Polumbus questionable because of a sprained knee, Pitts was at the pivotal position with the starters.
The first option would be having Okung ready to play on Sunday, after missing the past seven quarters with a sprained left ankle, so Pitts could slide over to guard to replace Ben Hamilton – who was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday after getting a serious concussion against the Raiders. The next option would be having Polumbus at left tackle, and Pitts at guard.
“As of right now, Chester will take that spot (left tackle) and Mike Gibson would be at left guard,” Carroll said before practice.
But during practice, Pitts was at the tackle, with Allen Barbre at left guard. Barbre was signed Sept. 28 and has yet to play in a game. Gibson was at center, replacing Chris Spencer, who had a sore neck.
ON THE FIELD
The players practiced for 90 minutes in pads and shorts on a beautiful afternoon along the shores of Lake Washington.
Cornerback Kelly Jennings was back after missing the past two games with a sore hamstring. He made the most of his first practice since Oct. 15 by intercepting one pass and breaking up another.
The club filled its 53-man roster by signing two players and re-signing another. The new players are Chris White, a 295-pound center who played the past three seasons with the Houston Texans and entered the league in 2005 with the Green Bay Packers; and Jay Richardson, a 280-pound defensive end who played the past three seasons with the Raiders.
Re-signed was wide receiver Ruvell Martin, who was with the team in training camp before being released on the roster cut to 53 players.
Also practicing with the Seahawks for the first time was Frank Okam, a 350-pound defensive tackle who was signed on Tuesday. Okam also had been with the Texans. His new teammates already have given him an appropriate nickname: Frank the Tank.
The Seahawks did not put in a waiver claim for wide receiver Randy Moss, who was released by the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday.
“It wasn’t much of a consideration for us,” Carroll said. “He’s at a stage in his career that he’s on his way doing his thing. We feel like we like that way we’re working – the way we’re going right now – and didn’t feel like we should go in that direction.”
The Tennessee Titans claimed Moss.
The official injury report, as released by the team:
Did not practice
QB Matt Hasselbeck (concussion)
WR Mike Williams (knee)
WR Golden Tate (ankle)
RB Michael Robinson (hamstring)
C Chris Spencer (neck)
OT Russell Okung (ankle)
OT Tyler Polumbus (knee)
DT Colin Cole (ankle)
DT Brandon Mebane (calf)
DE Chris Clemons (coach decision)
Limited in practice
DB Jordan Babineaux (illness)
Tate had his left ankle in a boot and was on crutches today. “We have him as doubtful at this time,” said Carroll, who added that he thinks Williams will be ready for Sunday’s game.
The defensive line was completely different in practice because of the injuries that prevented Cole and Mebane from practicing, Clemons being held out and the knee injury that forced Red Bryant to be placed on IR on Tuesday. So the “starting” unit today had Kentwan Balmer (for Bryant) and Raheem Brook (for Clemons) at the ends and Craig Terrill (for Mebane) and Junior Siavii (for Cole) at the tackles.
Mebane, who has missed the past three games, is scheduled to practice this week. But Cole has what Carroll called “a serious ankle sprain,” so he’s expected to miss a couple of weeks.
Bryant, meanwhile, is scheduled to have surgery on Thursday to repair a torn medical ligament in his knee.
“He’s just a young guy getting started, so we need to make sure we take great care of him and get him back so that he’ll be here for a long time,” Carroll said.
In addition to Jennings, cornerback Walter Thurmond (concussion) and linebacker Matt McCoy (hamstring) returned to practice after missing time.
For the Giants:
Did not practice
OT Will Beatty (foot)
OT Kareem McKenzie (illness)
C Shaun O’Hara (foot)
DE Osi Umenyiora (knee)
Limited in practice
RB Madison Hedgecock (hamstring)
LB Gerris Wilkinson (hand)
O’Hara already has been ruled out for this week because of a sprained ligament in his right foot and will be replaced in the starting lineup by Adam Koets, who started three games earlier this season when O’Hara was out with an injured left foot. Umenyiora does not practice on Wednesdays and usually is limited on Thursday and Friday to rest his sore knees.
STAT DU JOUR
In the Seahawks’ first seven games, four different players have led the team, or shared the lead, in tackles: strong safety Lawyer Milloy (three times), cornerback Marcus Trufant (three), middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu (twice) and Cole (once).
The players will practice Thursday, when Hasselbeck and Okung might be able to join their teammates.
Sunday, fans attending the game are asked to donate nonperishable food items or cash as part of the Seahawks’ annual Tackle Hunger drive that benefits Northwest Harvest.
YOU DON’T SAY
“This is an extraordinary environment here. Our fans are crazed to support the team and they do a fantastic job of it. … Whoever designed Qwest did a great job and whoever put the hearts in the people of Northwest did d a great job, because you combine the two and we have a heck of a factor here.” – Carroll on Qwest Field, where the Seahawks are 3-0 this season