Seahawks could have top two quarterbacks healthy for Sunday
Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck practiced all week and coach Mike Holmgren was happy with what he saw, so Hasselbeck is a go to play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Backup Seneca Wallace might also be available.
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — The Seahawks will have not just one, but both of their top two quarterbacks healthy for Sunday's game.
Starter Matt Hasselbeck finished the week of practice no worse for wear and looks ready to go against the Arizona Cardinals. And backup Seneca Wallace, who didn't take part in practice Wednesday or Thursday because of a groin injury, was back on the indoor field Friday at team headquarters.
"He made a big jump from yesterday to today [Friday], according to the trainers," coach Mike Holmgren said of Wallace.
Even if Wallace is able to play, he might not be the No. 2 quarterback Sunday. Holmgren could go with No. 3 quarterback Charlie Frye as the backup because Frye had a full week of practice.
As for Hasselbeck, Holmgren liked what he saw during the week. He fully expects Hasselbeck to be ready after missing the past five games with a bulging back disk and a knee problem.
"He's clearly excited about being back," Holmgren said. "He had a spring in his step and he threw the ball well."
The Cardinals made a bold move at running back two games ago, inserting rookie fifth-round draft pick Tim Hightower into the starting lineup for veteran Edgerrin James, a four-time Pro Bowl player.
Hightower rushed for 109 yards on 22 carries in his first game as starter, then caught six passes last Monday against San Francisco in his second start. James is down to just sporadic duty.
When James rushes for 100 or more yards in a game, the Cardinals are 7-0 in his career there. Two of those wins have come against the Seahawks. But it appears James won't get a chance to hit that mark against Seattle this weekend.
Hightower grabbed the job by impressing the Cardinals' coaches with his short-yardage skills. He leads all NFL rookies with seven rushing touchdowns.
"He has an explosive element that we thought could help us in the running game," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "He is a young back who we have seen some signs in games and during stressful situations where he has been productive and done some good things."
Haskell on Taylor
The Seahawks figure to activate five receivers for Sunday's game, and Courtney Taylor could be one of them. The second-year pro, who struggled at the start of the season with dropped passes, was released after four games and then signed to the practice squad, came back to the active roster this week when Keary Colbert was let go.
Taylor opened the season as a starter because of all the injuries at receiver. He made mistakes, but offensive coordinator Gil Haskell took some of the heat for that earlier this week.
"We overwhelmed him a little bit," Haskell said.
Now Taylor is back with a hunger to show he belongs, and Haskell noticed that in practice this week. With Taylor and Deion Branch expected back in the receiver rotation, the Seahawks might be better equipped to take on the NFC West-leading Cardinals.
"He has a chance to help us Sunday," Haskell said of Taylor. "We've got more speed than we had, so it should look different Sunday."
• FB Leonard Weaver, who has sore ribs, practiced for the first time this week on Friday but Holmgren wasn't yet ready to name him Sunday's starter. If Weaver can't play, rookie Owen Schmitt will get the call.
• Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin set a franchise record Monday against San Francisco by scoring a touchdown for the sixth straight game.
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or email@example.com
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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