Renton – There is still a chance quarterback Matt Hasselbeck could play Sunday, even if he doesn’t practice all week.
That’s what Seattle Seahawks coach Jim Mora reiterated Wednesday about his veteran signal-caller who suffered a broken rib last Sunday in the team’s loss at San Francisco.
“This is a guy who can pick things up without having to do the repetitions on the field,” Mora said. “But the key thing is what’s best for Matt’s health and for this football team in terms of long-term success.”
If Hasselbeck can’t go, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp said Seattle’s game plan won’t change much with Seneca Wallace leading the team.
Knapp said he made a conscious effort during the offseason and training camp to make sure Wallace got enough snaps to feel comfortable running the offense should he have to fill in for an injured Hasselbeck.
“Both of these guys got a lot of reps, the one and two, so I feel very comfortable that we don’t have to change a lot with Seneca,” Knapp said. “He does provide a little more flexibility when it comes to the mobile stuff and some of the offense I’ve ran in my past to create some windows, but it’s not like I have to feel restricted at all. I feel like he’s had plenty of reps and he’s ready to go.”
Wallace said his extra preparation with the first unit this week helps in terms of establishing a rhythm if he starts Sunday against Chicago, but ultimately he’s a veteran who should be ready when his name is called.
“If I’m not ready to go by now going into my seventh year, then I shouldn’t be playing,” Wallace said. “So I’m still doing the same thing and just getting ready to play.”
Hill has surgery
Mora announced during his Wednesday press conference that linebacker Leroy Hill had surgery Friday to repair a groin injury. The fifth-year player plans to return for the Dallas game Nov. 1.
“Guys heal at a different rate,” Mora said about the injury. “They get setbacks, but he’s doing really well right now, so we’ll stick with that for now, but things can happen.”
Hill suffered the injury against St. Louis in the season opener. Initially the team thought he would be out a few weeks, with the possibility of having surgery if rehab and rest did not work. Will Herring is filling in as weak-side outside linebacker.
Branch ready to go
After missing the first two games with a hamstring injury, wide receiver Deion Branch fully participated in practice and said he’s ready to go this week. Mora has been bringing Branch back slowly because he does not want the talented receiver to suffer another injury that could extend his absence. But Mora expects Branch to play this week.
Branch said he’s not concerned with critics who consider him a fragile player.
“I don’t worry about that,” he said. “I know what I can do. I don’t worry about the minor talk. I hear it, but I don’t, because the ones who are doing the talking can’t do what I do or have done, so it doesn’t bother me.”
Chris Spencer (quadriceps) participated fully in drills, splitting time at center with Steve Vallos, and looks like he could play this week. Cornerback Travis Fisher (hamstring) also participated fully in practice and appears to be making progress toward returning this week. Tackle Walter Jones (knee) was limited in practice while splitting time with Brandon Frye at left tackle. Offensive lineman Sean Locklear (ankle), defensive backs Josh Wilson (ankle) and Marcus Trufant (back) and linebacker Hill (groin) are out for the Bears game. Quarterback Hasselbeck (rib), fullback Justin Griffith (knee), linebacker Lofa Tatupu (hamstring), defensive lineman Brandon Mebane (calf) and wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh (back) did not practice Wednesday. Cornerback Ken Lucas (groin) was limited in practice. … The Seahawks brought back safety Jamar Adams, adding him to the practice squad and waiving offensive lineman Brian De La Puente to make room for Adams.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437