After suffering through another injury plagued start to the season, Seahawks head coach Jim Mora finally received some good news this week. Starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is scheduled to practice on Wednesday, with the hope of starting on Sunday against Jacksonville.
Hasselbeck has missed the last two games with a fractured rib he suffered at the end of the first half against San Francisco, when 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis drilled him near the goal line. The Seahawks have lost two straight games with Hasselbeck out, and at 1-3 are on the verge of falling out of the playoff race for a second straight season. Mora said he’ll see how Hasselbeck looks on Wednesday before anointing him the starter for Sunday.
“I think if he can do some things, that will give him a little more confidence,” Mora said. “And then he can do a little bit more Thursday, a little bit more Friday and hopefully be ready to go Sunday. But we just have to see.”
If Hasselbeck does go on Sunday, Mora said he will not shrink the playbook. However, he will make sure that his starting quarterback doesn’t take any unnecessary shots to his injured area. “What we do have to do is we have to make sure we take care of the edge,” Mora said. “We don’t have to limit what we do, but we have to be certain of what we do. We have to make sure that we don’t give a short corner to the defensive end to get to him.”
Seattle’s offense has struggled without its leader, with the Seahawks averaging just 15.3 points a contest in the last three games. Mora is hopeful that Hasselbeck will return some of the swagger to the offense.
“He’s a guy who plays with a lot of confidence,” Mora said. “When Matt plays at his best, this offense is rolling. It’s tempo. It’s upbeat, and the defense is having trouble catching up. If Matt’s out there playing I think you’ll see that right away from him, because he understands what the stakes are, how high they are
–Coach Jim Mora said he does not know when offensive tackle Walter Jones will return. Mora gave Jones the week off after he experienced pain again in his surgically repaired knee when he attempted to get in game shape a few weeks ago. Mora has said that’s he’s uncertain if Jones will make it back on the field for a game this season. .
–The Seahawks re-signed fullback Justin Griffith to the active roster after releasing him on Saturday in order to make room to bring offensive lineman Kyle Williams up to the active roster for much-needed depth on the offensive line. The team placed Griffith back on the roster on Monday and released Williams, but Mora said the Seahawks might have to make a move to pick up an offensive lineman with tackles Walter Jones and Sean Locklear not expected to play on Sunday.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
–OG Rob Sims sprained his left ankle against the Colts and will miss a couple games, coach Jim Mora said.
–DE Patrick Kerney suffered a groin injury in the second half against Indianapolis and is doubtful for Sunday’s game against Jacksonville.
–DB Josh Wilson is expected to return to action this week after missing two games with a high ankle sprain.
–LB Lofa Tatupu is feeling better after playing with a strained groin on Sunday, and should be a regular participant in practice this week.
REPORT CARD VS. COLTS
PASSING OFFENSE: C-minus — Seahawks quarterback Seneca Wallace totaled 257 yards and a touchdown, but a lot of those stats came during garbage time. Wallace was under pressure most of the game. He was sacked five times and fumbled twice, with one of those leading to a Colts field goal.
RUSHING OFFENSE: D — Seattle needed to get its ground game going in order to try and keep the ball away from the Colts’ high-powered offense. But that never happened, as Seattle finished with just 49 yards on 19 carries.
PASS DEFENSE: F — Payton Manning worked his magic again, finishing 31-of-41 for 353 yards and two touchdowns. Indianapolis scored touchdowns on four of its first five drives.
RUSH DEFENSE: C — The Colts finished with just 79 yards on the ground, but they did rush for two touchdowns. With how well they threw the ball, Indianapolis didn’t need to run.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B — Kicker Olindo More stayed out of Mora’s doghouse by making his only field goal of the day, a 38 yarder. The Seahawks finally got their kick return game going, with Justin Forsett finishing with a season-long, 37-yard return. Punter Jon Ryan continues to have a good year. He’s second in the league in punting average, at 51.8 per kick.
COACHING: C-minus — Seahawks players looked disinterested in the second half. Head coach Jim Mora has his work cut out for him if he wants to guide this team to two straight wins and a 3-3 record heading into Seattle’s bye week on Oct. 25.