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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Branch who? How about the Darche injury?


Now that the furor over Deion Branch has subsided (not really; here's a Oregonian story about when Branch might play), we can get back to Sunday's opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, right?

Not until we cover the biggest injury the Seahawks have suffered in years. Long snapper Jean-Philippe Darche has been put on injured reserve and will miss the rest of the season.

As anyone who knows football in-depth can tell you, the long snapper is one of the two or three most important positions on a football team (by the way, did I mention long snapping is a Grippi tradition?). And, after six years of dependable snapping, the Hawks will have to break in a new one this weekend (see Mike Sando's blog post for more info).

With Darche having been replaced, it will be interesting to see if Mr. Clutch, kicker Josh Brown, has any troubles this week.

Back to the Cardinals. Kurt Warner, that broken-down, over-the-hill quarterback soon to be replaced by Heisman-winner Matt Lienart (the link is to his personal blog), was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in last weekend's win over San Francisco.

Warner will be trying to stop a Seahawks win streak against the NFC West, which includes a 6-0 mark last year.

With Branch at practice Wednesday, the majority of the attention was on him. But coach Mike Holmgren took pains to "motivate" the offensive line, even letting the starters know the young backups are waiting.

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Vince Grippi's daily take on all things regional sports has been moved to our main sports section online. You can find a collection of these columns here.