Seahawks relieved to have 2 quarterbacks ready
Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren is relieved that he'll have two quarterbacks, Seneca Wallace and Charlie Frye, to use against Tampa Bay on Sunday.
Seattle Times staff reporters
RENTON — Coach Mike Holmgren didn't have to look to a bullpen to find relief Friday.
He saw it on the practice field when Seneca Wallace finished the week of preparation ready to start Sunday's game at Tampa Bay.
"It's going to be his ballgame, I believe, unless something happens in the next two days," Holmgren said. "I've got confidence in him."
Wallace is recovering from a calf injury that he suffered warming up to play wide receiver against San Francisco on Sept. 14. He hurt himself again the first week of October, reinjuring his calf four days before the Seahawks played the Packers. That left third-string quarterback Charlie Frye the starter when Matt Hasselbeck was unable to play.
Hasselbeck is out again this week because of a back problem that is causing weakness in his leg. Wallace as listed as probable, which means it's almost certain he will play. Holmgren was asked if there was a feeling of relief that Wallace will be ready this time.
"That's a good word," Holmgren said. "Last week, we really went in with one quarterback and that's an uncomfortable feeling.
"This week we have two, and there is a sense of relief there."
Wallace was drafted by the Seahawks in 2003 and became the Seahawks' No. 2 quarterback in 2005. He started four games in 2006 when Hasselbeck suffered a knee injury. The Seahawks were 2-2 in those games.
Holmgren hopes to have Hasselbeck back next week, but that is not a sure thing. Wallace is one of the most athletic players on Seattle's team. At 5 feet 11, he's short enough that Seattle will look to roll him out so he can see more passing lanes.
Will the calf injury affect Wallace's mobility?
"I don't think so," Holmgren said. "But those are funny injuries. If it is limiting in any way, he just has to be honest with me so that we can help him."
Playing catch-up at receiver
Billy McMullen, the receiver the Seahawks signed the second week of the season, suffered a compound fracture of his right pinkie finger at practice on Thursday. The injury knocked him out of this game and could affect his status for the rest of the season.
McMullen caught seven passes, second-most among all Seattle receivers.
Deion Branch has not practiced since injuring his heel in the Oct. 5 loss in New York. He ran on Friday to test the injury, but remained sore. He will travel with the Seahawks.
"We've got two more days so we're going to test him again on the day of the game and see how it feels," Holmgren said.
If Branch cannot play, Seattle has four healthy receivers currently on the 53-man roster: Bobby Engram, Koren Robinson, Keary Colbert and Jordan Kent.
• Darryl Tapp will start at right end for Seattle on Sunday, replacing rookie Lawrence Jackson in the lineup. Jackson will still rotate into the game, but Tapp gets his first start of the season. "We need a little bit of a spark somewhere," Holmgren said. "So we're kind of trying some things. We love Lawrence, and Lawrence is a good football player. We're just trying some stuff."
• Another change is that Ray Willis will see some time at right tackle. Sean Locklear will remain the starter, but Willis will be in the game at some point. Willis started at right tackle the first three weeks while Locklear was recovering from a knee injury. "He had a good couple games when Sean was hurt," Holmgren said of Willis. "He brings a certain presence."
• Seahawks RB Justin Forsett grew up in Lakeland, Fla., 15 minutes from Tampa, and looks forward to returning home to play in front of friends and family. Forsett will be returning punts and playing on the kickoff team.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Returned to practice|
|S Deon Grant||Knee|
|Practiced without limitation and is almost certain to play.|
|Absent from practice|
|QB Matt Hasselbeck||Back|
|Will miss second consecutive game|
|WR Billy McMullen||Finger|
|Out after suffering compound fracture|
|TE Will Heller||Knee|
|Out because of sprained knee|
|WR Deion Branch||Heel|
|Questionable to play in the game|
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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