Coach Jim Mora made the announcement after the Seahawks were handed a 27-3 setback at Qwest Field. Most of Tatupu’s teammates were not aware of the severity of Tatupu’s injury.
“That’s terrible, terrible news,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “I don’t know what to say.”
Tatupu was injured making a tackle on Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald on a third-down play late in the first half. It was Tatupu’s eighth tackle of the game, which was a game-high total.
David Hawthorne took over at middle linebacker for Tatupu and will probably be the fulltime replacement.
Matt Leinhart finished what Kurt Warner started, as the Cardinals’ former first-round draft choice took over with 5½ minutes left and his team up 27-3.
Meanwhile, things went from frustrating to futile in the final quarter for the Seahawks. Their first possession ended when Matt Hasselbeck was sacked by OLB Bertrand Berry on third down – the Cardinals fifth sack of the afternoon. The Seahawks second possession ended when Hasselbeck overthrew T.J. Houshmandzadeh on third down and Cardinals CB Antrel Rolle intercepted the pass.
Four plays later, Neil Rackers kicked a 31-yard field goal to run the Cardinals lead to 27-3.
The Seahawks next series? Hasselbeck was chased from the pocket on second down by Rolle and then flagged for grounding because his pass did not reach the line of scrimmage.
It was that kind of day for the Seahawks QB, and his team.
Make it 24-3, Cardinals, as the Seahawks continued to struggle on offense and couldn’t get enough pressure on Kurt Warner in key situations.
The teams traded three-and-outs for most of the quarter, until Steve Breaston broke a 36-yard return of Jon Ryan’s 62-yard punt to Seahawks’ 41-yard line. That’s when Warner went back to work: 19 yards to Larry Fitzgerald on third-and-4; and then 16 yards to Breaston for the touchdown.
The drive – a five-play, 41-yarder – put Warner over 30,000 passing yards for his career and also allowed him to reach to reach 50 career 300-yard passing games faster than any QB in NFL history.
The Seahawks played the quarter without MLB Lofa Tatupu, who went out with a shoulder injury in the first half; and DE Patrick Kerney, who strained a groin.
The Cardinals continued to dominate the game, but this quarter ended in a 3-3 tie that gave Arizona a 17-3 lead at halftime.
The Cardinals scored on the fourth play of the quarter, but had to settle for a 29-yard field goal from Neil Rackers after DE Patrick Kerney sacked QB Kurt Warner on third down. On the second-down play, LB Aaron Curry tipped Warner’s pass – the first incompletion for Warner after hitting his first 12 passes.
The Seahawks finally got on the board with 3:57 left in the half on a 28-yard field goal by Olindo Mare. But it took a fake punt, with P Jon Ryan and TE John Carlson hooking up on a 42-yard pass play to get them close enough to do it. QB Matt Hasselbeck followed the big special teams play with a 15-yard pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh to the Cardinals’ 5-yard line. But Hasselbeck was then pressured into throwing the ball away on first down and sacked for a 7-yard loss on third down.
Hasselbeck got another chance after DE Patrick Kerney’s fumble-forcing sack of Warner and DE Darryl Tapp’s recovery. But TE John Carlson could not hold a third-down pass that Hasselbeck threaded between two defenders and the possession ended in frustration.
FS Jordan Babineaux intercepted Warner’s final pass of the half – a heave into the end zone on a play that began with four seconds left on the clock.
How dominate where the Cardinals in the first half? Plays – Cardinals 38-19. Yards – Cardinals 224-90. Time of possession – Cardinals 21:48 to 8:12. Third-down conversions — Cardinals 5 of 7, Seahawks 0 of 4. Points – Cardinals 17-3.
Wow, oops and wow. The first quarter was all Cardinals, and in all three phases of the game.
The Cardinals got the ball first and went 80 yards in 15 plays, a precision drive that consumed almost 11 minutes. QB Kurt Warner was 9 of 9 – to five different receivers – for 64 yards, including 4 of 4 on third downs for 27 yards. The Cardinals’ longest play on the drive was Warner’s 18-yard pass to Anquan Boldin, who had three catches for 35 yards.
The Cardinals then had Neil Rackers bloop his kickoff and CB Greg Toler recovered the ball at the Seahawks’ 23-yard line. Three plays later, Tim Hightower scored on a 2-yard run to make it 14-0 before the Seahawks had time to utter, “What’s happening.” Warner hit his only pass – a 9-yarder to Larry Fitzgerald – to run his string of completions to 10 in a row.
The Seahawks finally got the ball, but it lasted only three plays as QB Matt Hasselbeck fumbled when he was sacked and the Cardinals recovered at the Seattle 23. The quarter ended with the Cardinals in a first-and-goal situation from the Seahawks 9.
Warner completed 12 consecutive passes in the quarter.
Rookie TE Cameron Morrah and second-year DT Red Bryant are the non-injured players who are inactive today.
Morrah also was inactive last week, while Bryant is inactive whenever the coaches feel they will need more of a pass-rush presence from the defensive tackles — which definitely is the case today.
The complete list:
DT Red Bryant
LB Leroy Hill
OT Walter Jones
OT Sean Locklear
TE Cameron Morrah
OG Rob Sims
S C.J. Wallace
3rd QB: Mike Teel
Tags: Antrel Rolle, Bertrand Berry, coach jim mora, David Hawthorne, Four Plays, Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Line Of Scrimmage, Matt Hasselbeck, Matt Leinhart, Middle Linebacker, Neil Rackers, Pectoral Muscle, Seahawks Qb, Steve Breaston, T J Houshmandzadeh, Tatupu, Yard Field Goal
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