RENTON – Nate Burleson was stunned by his diagnosis. Considering the way things are going, he probably shouldn’t have been.
The lone experienced wide receiver on the Seahawks roster was certain that the knee injury he suffered Sunday in a 34-10 loss at Buffalo would cost him a few weeks … at most.
But in keeping with the contagion that has plagued the Seahawks’ wide receivers, the news Burleson received Monday was grim: Torn knee ligament; out for the season.
Add him to the list of injuries that have sidelined Deion Branch (knee) and Bobby Engram (shoulder) for at least the next few weeks, and Ben Obomanu (broken collarbone) for the rest of the season.
It leaves the Seahawks trolling the streets for replacement candidates.
“Right now, we have three healthy receivers … total,” coach Mike Holmgren said.
The Seahawks’ personnel department met Monday afternoon to examine options including: Giving backup quarterback Seneca Wallace more time at receiver; shopping for the best among free-agent veterans, and activating practice squad rookie Michael Bumpus.
“Bumpus is certainly a candidate, but because it’s kind of drastic, I think we have to explore other options as well,” Holmgren said. “If there were guys out there who played for us at one time and kind of understood (the offense), maybe that would be the way to go.”
Burleson was expected to be the most reliable among a group of active receivers that included Courtney Taylor, Logan Payne and Jordan Kent – a trio that had a combined total of five NFL receptions.
“Coming in today, I was thinking they were going to tell me I was only going to be out a few weeks,” Burleson said. “When I talk to the doctors and hear the news, it was quite a shot. It’s a tough sport we play.”
It just got tougher for the Seahawks’ offense.
“We feel really, really bad for him and the mountain he’s got to climb to get back,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “It’s a huge loss and we’ve got to get some answers.”
The Seahawks could announce roster moves as early as this afternoon. They’ll have to do some juggling anyway to get suspended players Rocky Bernard and Jordan Babineaux back on the 53-man list.
Running back Mo Morris (sprained knee) said he’s expecting to be sidelined for “a couple weeks.” Julius Jones will now take over the bulk of the carries, while T.J. Duckett will be eased into the mix, Holmgren said.
Another minor injury, to the thumb of linebacker Lofa Tatupu, will require his playing with a soft cast this week, Holmgren said.
Was fake field goal legal?
Asked about the fake field goal play that surprised the Seahawks, Holmgren stopped short of labeling it an illegal play. “I think the league, in the last couple of years, has tried to discourage plays where a little bit of deception and substitution creates a situation where you could throw one like (Buffalo did),” Holmgren said.
“When those things happen to you, it kind of sticks with you,” he said. “We have to be better than that.”
A minor injury had sent cornerback Josh Wilson to the sideline on that play, leaving the Hawks scrambling to get 11 men on the field. In the confusion, they failed to notice Bills defensive end Ryan Denney line up uncovered near the sideline.
Latest on Hasselbeck’s back
Hasselbeck said news reports about his suffering from a bulging disk were inaccurate. He said he received an injection during training camp as treatment for his sore back, but has had no treatment for muscle soreness lately. “I’m not sore in any way,” Hasselbeck said. “I don’t even receive treatment on it any more, so, to me, it’s kind of a non-thing.”
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440