TAMPA, Fla. – Last week Matt Hasselbeck was the topic of quarterback controversy. Now he’s the focus of quarterback concern.
Hasselbeck – who was benched a week earlier, bringing into question his status with Pete Carroll – started as scheduled in Sunday’s loss to the Buccaneers, but he was unable to finish the game. And while it was turnovers that took him out of the game against Atlanta, an injury sent him to the bench against Tampa Bay.
Hasselbeck capped a first-quarter touchdown drive with a 1-yard run, but injured his hip while running toward the end zone, and was removed for backup Charlie Whitehurst. Hasselbeck did not return to the game, and Carroll said his quarterback likely won’t practice this week as the Seahawks prepare for a game against St. Louis that will decide the NFC West.
“We don’t expect him to practice,” Carroll said of Hasselbeck, who is expected to have an MRI exam today. “We’re going to rest him all week and see what happens at the end of the week. It’s a little bit of an unusual pull in his hip, and we’re going to have to see how it responds. … We’ve got to see what it is. The doctors are a little unclear of how it is going to respond.”
Hasselbeck said the injury actually began three weeks into the season when he took a helmet shot in Seattle’s win over San Diego.
“It had been kind of bothering me off and on a little bit, nothing major, all season,” he said. “Tweaked it a little bit against Arizona at their place, a little bit against Carolina, but it really was never that bad. Today it just got real tight on me. … It’s embarrassing, but it’s more my butt.”
Hasselbeck said he hopes to get back, but doesn’t know yet how his injury will respond.
“I’m going to do everything I can to play, and we’ll see,” he said. “If I can, I’d love to. I’ll do everything that I can.”
There was serious doubt as to whether Hasselbeck would start this week after he turned the ball over eight times in the previous two games. Whitehurst was solid in relief of Hasselbeck against Atlanta.
On Sunday against the Bucs, Whitehurst missed on his first four pass attempts, and finished 11 of 18 for 66 yards as the Seahawks put up their lowest passing yardage total since 2008.
“We just weren’t really able to do much offensively,” he said. “That starts with me. When I’m called upon, I need to be more productive.”