KIRKLAND, Wash. – The Oct. 1 game against the Chicago Bears was strange, what with the unfamiliar exhaustion that had rarely affected Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Bobby Engram in the past.
But what was harder to adjust to was the following 10 1/2 weeks, during which Engram saw practice time but never got to play in a game.
“You come over here with the guys all week, you’re laughing and joking, then you don’t play Sundays,” Engram said. “To me, that’s the payoff part – that’s the fun part. The work is during the week – that’s what we get paid for. Playing the game is fun.”
This Thursday, more than two months after being diagnosed with a thyroid condition that accelerated his heartbeat and sapped his energy, Engram will finally get to return to the field for a game.
“I will play this week,” Engram said Tuesday. “We haven’t really determined how many plays. I’ve talked to coach (Mike Holmgren) briefly, but we’ve just got to play it by ear.”
Engram is still listed as “questionable” on the injury report, but all indications are that he’ll return to the field against the San Francisco 49ers.
He said he remained patient during the layoff, despite the natural eagerness to play.
“My health is my main concern,” he said. “I love this game, and I love this organization, but I love my life and my family a lot more.”
Engram knew something was wrong during the loss to the Bears, when he had trouble catching his breath. He continued to feel fatigued in the following days.
“I’m never tired,” Engram said. “I always have energy, especially off the field. But I was getting fatigued doing normal, everyday activities. And I was really struggling on the field to catch my wind. So I knew something was not right.”
Engram was eventually diagnosed with a thyroid condition, and he’s been taking medication while sitting out the past nine games. While he’s practiced for more than a month, he still hasn’t been active for a game since the loss to Chicago.
That should change Thursday, and his teammates are happy to have him back
“Bobby’s always been the glue for us. He connects everybody together,” said running back Shaun Alexander. “And it’s very good timing for us. We have something negative in losing (Darrell Jackson to a toe injury), but we have something very positive in gaining Bobby.”
No one is more relieved than Engram himself.
“It’s something that won’t give me any problems going forward,” he said of the condition. “It was just the initial diagnosis that put me behind the eight ball. I give credit to our training staff for jumping on this pretty fast.
“… I feel good. It’s just a minor setback, and I’m looking forward to getting back out there and helping this team clinch the division.”
The Seahawks’ injury report came out and it included three players who definitely won’t play Thursday: wide receiver Darrell Jackson (toe), center Robbie Tobeck (hip) and tight end Itula Mili (concussion).
Three others are questionable: Engram, defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (foot) and left guard Floyd Womack (groin). Engram was the only player from that group who practiced Tuesday.
Alexander accepts record
Alexander said he didn’t mind seeing his season record of 28 touchdowns fall last Sunday, when San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson scored his 29th.
“Records are made to be broken,” Alexander said. “For me, I thought I was going to break it (again this season). I think Larry (Johnson, the Kansas City running back), he thought he was going to break it. And I think LaDainian thought he was going to break it.
“For guys who score touchdowns, you don’t really think anything’s too far. So I didn’t think it would last long. That didn’t even cross my mind.”