RENTON, Wash. – Charlie Whitehurst is expected to be Seattle’s starting quarterback on Sunday when the Seahawks play the St. Louis Rams for the NFC West title.
Coach Pete Carroll said Monday the Seahawks will plan on Whitehurst being their starter Sunday night. But he wasn’t ready to rule out Matt Hasselbeck after he left Sunday’s 38-15 loss to Tampa Bay after running for a 1-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Hasselbeck suffered a strain to his lower back/hip/gluteal area that did not allow him to return.
Hasselbeck underwent an MRI and additional tests Monday and the results were positive enough that Carroll remained somewhat optimistic.
“It’s something (that) may be manageable,” Carroll said. “The MRI results were not such where he doesn’t have a chance. They were hopeful that he has an opportunity to get back, but we won’t know for (several) days.”
Hasselbeck said the injury first popped up in Week 3 against San Diego and has been a slight bother a few other times this season, but nothing like Sunday. Hasselbeck went to the ground but walked off the field.
If he can’t go, Whitehurst would be making his second career start, with Seattle going for its first division title since 2007.
“I want to make sure as we proceed through the week and know what we’re doing,” Carroll said. “If Matt can play a factor in that, we’ll figure it out when the time comes.”
Offensive tackle Russell Okung aggravated a left ankle injury but did not miss a play, and wide receiver Brandon Stokley suffered a concussion, but the Seahawks won’t know his availability for a few days.