A recap of the day’s activities:
Matt Hasselbeck. The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback not only was back running the offense in practice, Hasselbeck said he was feeling better than he did last week.
“I feel a little bit better, probably,” he said. “It’s week to week.”
Will Hasselbeck ever reach the point this season where the soreness in his fracture rib will completely subside?
“I would hope so,” he said. “One of the things when you come back early from an injury when you really shouldn’t probably, you add on some healing time; you probably add on and create some other nagging things.
“I think that’s probably the case. But I hope that I can get there.”
Hasselbeck got the rib fractured in the first half of the Week 2 game against the San Francisco 49ers. He returned for the Week 5 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The past two weeks, he has been limited in practice on Wednesday before participating fully on Thursday and Friday.
Punt returner. Nate Burleson found his first niche with the Seahawks in this capacity, when he volunteered to return punts in 2006. Burleson had 34 returns that season, including 90-yarder for a touchdown. In 2007, he had a 94-yard punt return and a 91-yard kickoff return for scores.
This season, because he’s now the starting split end and coming off reconstructive knee surgery, Burleson has been used sparingly as a punt returner. But coach Jim Mora said that will change Sunday, when the Seahawks host the Detroit Lions at Qwest Field.
“We’re going to get Nate Burleson more involved in punt returning than we have,” Mora said. “We’ve kind of been spotty with that, but we’re going to get him back there. Not that we’ve been able to provide a lot of success for him or a lot of openings for him, but I do believe he has the potential to make game-changing plays as a punt returner.”
Bring it on says Burleson, who has averaged only 5.7 yards on 10 punt returns, but does have the team’s longest return this season (19 yards).
“It’s good, because I get to touch the ball,” Burleson said. “But those guys coming down on punt coverage, they’re no joke. They’re trying to put their helmet on something, and usually it’s the ball or my body so I have to be careful.”
Burleson said it’s actually easier to be the full-time returner than a spot returner.
“When I would go out there occasionally, I didn’t know from game to game how much I would be out there,” said Burleson, whose returns in the first seven games have ranged from three (once) to none (twice). “Now, just knowing I’m going to be out there more, it gives you a mindset where you can kind of flip that switch and say, ‘All right, I’m going to have to go out there and make a play.’
“But I’m excited, because I need two to three returns before the season is over, and I’ve got enough games to do it.”
By that, Burleson means those long scoring returns that first defined his return to Seattle.
The official report, as released by the team:
DID NOT PRACTICE
WR Ben Obomanu (oblique)
LIMITED IN PRACTICE
OT Sean Locklear (ankle)
CB Ken Lucas (neck)
FS Jordan Babineaux (hip)
QB Matt Hasselbeck (rib)
LB Will Herring (shoulder)
While Obomanu did not practice for the second consecutive day, he was working out on the side during practice.
For the Lions, RB Kevin Smith (shoulder) practiced on a limited basis after sitting out Wednesday. WR Calvin Johnson (knee) also was limited, but he returned to practice Wednesday after missing the past two games. Also limited was QB Matthew Stafford (knee).
YOU DON’T SAY
“Yeah, I do. But I don’t have to block him, so I don’t know if it matters.” – Hasselbeck, when asked if he knew Lions linebacker Julian Peterson, a former teammate with the Seahawks and also rival while playing for the 49ers