Notebook | Alexander faces X-rays
The Shaun Alexander saga took another plot twist Sunday as the Seahawks running back missed part of his team's 33-30 overtime defeat against...
Seattle Times staff reporter
CLEVELAND — The Shaun Alexander saga took another plot twist Sunday as the Seahawks running back missed part of his team's 33-30 overtime defeat against Cleveland with what was officially announced as a sprained left knee and ankle.
Alexander got hurt after a 3-yard run in the first quarter. He was checked out by trainers on the sideline, then walked and jogged to see how he felt after getting taped up.
On the second play of the Seahawks' first drive of the second quarter, Alexander came back into the game.
In the end, though, he wasn't much of a factor. And he hasn't been for the past four weeks, though he has played with a cracked wrist plus his injuries from Sunday.
Alexander gained just 32 yards on 14 carries, and wasn't in the game on the Seahawks' last series of regulation or in overtime.
Maurice Morris gained 55 yards on nine carries in relief of Alexander, whose knee began to ache more as the temperature dropped.
Alexander is scheduled for X-rays.
As for the running game, the Seahawks gained 105 yards. But they failed on a key play to get a much-needed first down in overtime, and therefore lost possession and ultimately the game.
Nate Burleson said coming up with a unique touchdown celebration is not something he sits at home and thinks about, unless it's for the home crowd.
But Burleson entertained the fans at the end of his 94-yard punt return in the second quarter. The adventurous Burleson caught the ball in traffic while those watching the game must have gasped a collective, "What are you doing?"
Burleson must have known because he caught the punt, danced around and through three tacklers and faked the last man with a shot to get him, Browns punter Dave Zastudil. Reaching the end zone, Burleson went creative with his tribute to Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James by pretending to put chalk on his hands and release it into the air, a James tradition as he takes the court before games.
"I'm just a big Cleveland Cavalier fan," Burleson said. "Being a guy who just loves great plays and great talent, I kind of wanted to give him [James] a little shout-out, tell him that there's football players out here watching the things that he does."
The ups and downs
On the play Morris was stopped short on that fourth down, it was a play coach Mike Holmgren said he would have used with Alexander.
Holmgren was more upset about the officials' review of the spot of the ball on the play before, a Matt Hasselbeck scramble on third down that originally was called a first down but overturned.
"What I thought was it was called on the field good," Holmgren said. "So you really have to see something pretty decisive to overturn it, that's the rule ... I just don't think you overturn it if it's close, unless they saw something that we didn't."
Run blocking by the offensive line was an area of emphasis leading up to the game.
"I'll just go back and if it's my fault, it's my fault. I'll have to deal with it," left guard Rob Sims said.
Morris had runs of 12 and 11 yards on the last drive of regulation, when the Seahawks tied the score. At the very least, he made a case to play more with Alexander struggling. At the most, he will play more because Alexander is injured to some extent.
"Mo's a different style of runner, and he'll pop the hole pretty good, " Holmgren said. "But I wish he'd have gained another yard."
Browns tight end Kellen Winslow set a career high for yards with 125 and tied his career high in catches with 11, numbers that proved how difficult he was to cover Sunday.
"The kid's a good player, and he should make his plays," Holmgren said, "but I was hopeful that we could do a little bit better job on him."
Winslow was quick to credit others besides himself.
"Everyone has their roles," he said. "[Sunday] my number was called."
Seahawks receiver D.J. Hackett played well in his first game since Week 1, when he sprained an ankle. Hackett caught six passes for 58 yards, including a touchdown.
"I've still got a ways to go," Hackett said. "Conditioning was the main thing."
• Hasselbeck looked recovered from his pulled oblique muscle two weeks ago.
• Hasselbeck was saddled with a fumble in the final stats on a bad exchange with Morris that resulted in a turnover on a fourth-down play in the first quarter.
• Browns QB Derek Anderson, from Oregon State, set career highs by going 29 of 48 for 364 yards.
• WR Deion Branch was among the inactives, missing his third consecutive game with the sprained right foot he suffered at Pittsburgh on Oct. 7.
• TE Marcus Pollard also was inactive for the second game in a row because of a knee injury.
• Browns RB Jamal Lewis set a career high with four TDs.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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