October 4, 1997 in Sports

Seahawks Limp Into Oilers Battle

From Wire Reports
 

The Seattle Seahawks have enough injuries to fill out their seven inactive slots for Sunday’s game at the Kingdome against the Tennessee Oilers.

Quarterback John Friesz, defensive linemen Martin Harrison and Phillip Daniels and wide receiver Ronnie Harris were officially deactivated Friday. Based on their inactivity at practice Friday, halfback Chris Warren, defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy and wide receiver Joey Galloway may join them Sunday.

“It’s been a wild week,” said offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski, who’s had as few as four semi-healthy receivers practicing. “I don’t know if we’re going to have some of them very long or how effective they will be. We’ve been covering all the bases, not counting on Brian Blades and Ronnie Harris being healthy. If we can get a little bit out of them, it will be a bonus.

“But we’ll be all right. I feel good about things.”

Blades practiced on his sore right knee Friday, and if the pain doesn’t bother him too much by Sunday morning, he will be the third receiver.

Harris tried to test his sore hamstring, but it bothered him too much to finish Friday’s workout.

Mike Pritchard and James McKnight will start.

Seahawks coach Dennis Erickson said left tackle Walter Jones, who missed two games with an ankle injury, will start.

Kennedy didn’t practice for the third consecutive day and appears likely to miss the second game of his eight-year NFL career.

Halfback Steve Broussard, recovering from headaches caused by a concussion, practiced for the first time this week and was proclaimed fit enough to return kickoffs and back up Lamar Smith at halfback.

George questionable

The Oilers added halfback Eddie George to the injury list Friday morning after he was bothered by a sore abdominal muscle. Despite the injury, George practiced Friday. He’s listed as questionable.

Oilers guard Bruce Matthews worked with trainers, but there still appeared to be looseness in his injured knee. He suffered a second-degree sprain of the medial collateral ligament. Coach Jeff Fisher will make a game-time decision on Matthews, who has played in 153 consecutive games.

Bledsoe eager for big handoff

He is preparing for what is being billed as the mother of all Monday night football games, but the X’s and O’s and the pass rushes by Denver’s Neil Smith and John Mobley will be a piece of cake compared to an impending event in Drew Bledsoe’s private life: fatherhood.

“I’m excited. I can’t wait,” said the Patriots quarterback.

Drew and Maura Bledsoe are expecting their first child Nov. 9, by which time the AFC summit in Denver will be a distant memory. While the world will be watching Monday, Bledsoe doesn’t know if he’ll get a chance to experience a much more poignant private moment a month hence.

“I want to be there when it happens,” he said. “We’re in Buffalo on the due date. We’re away the week before and the week after. Hopefully, things will work out and I’ll be able to be there when the baby is born.”

Bledsoe has played out various scenarios in his mind. What if it’s fourth-and-1 at the Bills’ 2-yard line in a close game and suddenly, the bench is alerted that … it’s time?

“It doesn’t quite work for me like it does for most people,” said Bledsoe. “I told (backup Scott) Zolak the due date and he said, ‘Sweet. I get to play.’ I got him going a bit, but all I can hope for is that it doesn’t come to that.”


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