Carroll: Concussed LB Tatupu recovering
Linebacker Lofa Tatupu was injured in the fourth quarter after a collision with running back Julius Jones, a former Seahawk. Both players left the game, and Tatupu's status will be monitored.
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — Linebacker Lofa Tatupu's recovery from the concussion he suffered in Saturday's victory over the New Orleans Saints is encouraging, according to coach Pete Carroll.
"He responded very well," Carroll said.
Tatupu was injured in the fourth quarter after a collision with running back Julius Jones, a former Seahawk. Both players left the game, and Tatupu's status will be monitored.
Carroll said he was encouraged by Tatupu's progress from Sunday to Monday and that he hopes the linebacker will be able to practice later this week. The NFL has enhanced its concussion policy this year, requiring a player to be free of all symptoms before returning to practice or play.
David Hawthorne, usually the team's starting weakside linebacker, moved to middle linebacker to replace Tatupu after the injury.
In other injury news, wide receiver Ben Obomanu suffered a dislocated shoulder Saturday, but returned to play. Carroll said he hopes Obomanu can practice later this week.
The Seahawks had to wait until the last of the weekend's four playoff games to discover their next playoff opponent.
But instead of waiting on pins and needles, Carroll was dealing with pillows, chairs and an energetic youngster.
"I was playing with my grandson all day," he said. "I was under pillows and blankets and climbing over chairs and wrestling all day long, so it wasn't bad."
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is playing with a brace to protect his injured left wrist, and he has had fluid drained off his left hip three times since injuring it on Dec. 26. But other than that, he feels pretty good.
"I feel like I've been pretty healthy this year," he said.
Hasselbeck wanted to play in the regular-season finale against St. Louis, but Carroll opted to start Charlie Whitehurst played instead. That gave Hasselbeck an extra week to heal, and he responded with the best playoff performance of his career.
"More than anything, we've got so many new guys on our team, so many new teammates, that I think it's important to kind of go through the fire with your teammates," Hasselbeck said, "So you know who you can count on when times get tough. You know who you can depend on."
A few new wrinkles
The Bears plan to go into playoff-survival mode their second time around with the Seahawks.
Coach Lovie Smith said his Bears will deploy the same basic approach against Seattle that they did in the 23-20 regular-season loss on Oct. 17. The key will be to execute the plan better, and a few new wrinkles won't hurt either.
"A little of both," Smith said Monday. "We use that approach every game. But when you play someone for the second time and you know each other fairly well, you want to add a few things, which both of us will do. As much as anything, try to execute better than we did the first time around."
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.
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