The good news continues on the injury front for Seattle. Matt Hasselbeck apparently was cleared by back Specialist Dr. Stan Herring of Seattle Thursday night and went through 7-on-7 drills with the scout team today.
Hasselbeck also threw some pass routes to receivers Michael Bumpus and Courtney Taylor after practice, cycling through both three-step and seven-step drops. His footwork seemed OK and he threw the ball with authority, although he did grab his back a few times after making throws, and still looks it will be awhile before he's ready to go.
However, Seattle coach Mike Holmgren was encouraged to see Hasselbeck on the field. Hassebeck has been out since injuring his right knee against the New York Giants on October 5th. A bulging disk in his back resulting in a weakness in his right knee, and Hasselbeck will miss his fifth straight game on Sunday against Miami.
Hasselbeck won't make the trip to Miami
"His big test was on yesterday and he came through it feeling good, which allowed him to do what he did today," Holmgren said. "He wanted to do some more but they're kind of easing him into it. And then if we don't have any setbacks, knock on wood, I'll suspect he'll practice next week and has a chance to play next week."
Holmgren said right now Hasselbeck is cleared to practice, and once he practices and doesn't have any setbacks he'll be cleared to play.
Listen to Holmgren's full interview here.
Another surprise on Friday was seeing Deion Branch suited up for practice. Branch also ran some routes during 7-on-7 and Holmgren said he has a chance to play on Sunday.
Holmgren said Branch worked out on Wednesday, and his bruised heel felt OK, which allowed Branch to Practice today.
"We still have to see," Holmgren said about Branch. "What can't happen is that you put someone down, activate Deion and then after 10 plays he comes up and goes, 'Coach, I can't go.'"
Holmgren said if there's a way Branch can play and not deplete the WR staff, then they will try and get Branch in the game.
Holmgren said he'll see how Branch looks tomorrow at the team's practice in Miami.
Pork Chop Womack also was back at practice and should start at right guard on Sunday. Both Lofa Tatupu and Leonard Weaver practiced and should be ready to go on Sunday. Tight end Will Heller (knee) practiced today, but Holmgren said earlier in the week that Heller probably will not play on Sunday.