KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:05 ET
TV: FOX, Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan, Chris Myers
IN-GAME UPDATES: OBR Live Feed Fox GameTrax
LIVE INTERACTION: Game Thread OBR Chat Room
SERIES: 16th meeting. Seahawks lead series, 11-4, and have won the last two and three of the last four. Their last meeting was in 2003, a 34-7 Seattle victory in Seattle.
PREDICTION: Browns 31-27
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Seahawks healed up during their bye and expect to have WRs Deion Branch and D.J. Hackett in the starting lineup for the first time since the season opener. The biggest concern with the passing game now is Hasselbeck's timing with his top two wideouts, and an oblique injury that hinders his throwing motion if it acts up. Coach Mike Holmgren also stressed better run blocking during the bye. ... QB Derek Anderson is on pace to throw almost 39 touchdowns, which would be more than the Browns' 30 combined touchdown passes the past two seasons. He'll target the Seahawks' undersized corners, but the Browns first want to establish RB Jamal Lewis to prevent Seattle from turning its linebackers loose in the pass rush. The Browns' powerful offensive line should have success against the Seahawks' smallish front seven.
KEY INJURIES: Seahawks: Hasselbeck will play; Branch (foot sprain) is expected to start; DE Darryl Tapp (broken hand) will play with a protective device; TE Marcus Pollard (knee) is out. Browns: FB Lawrence Vickers (concussion syndrome) and LB D'Qwell Jackson (ankle sprain) are uncertain.
FAST FACTS: Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander needs two rushing touchdowns to reach 100 for his career. ... The Browns are averaging 36.5 points in their four wins this season, and Anderson is 3-0 with a 126.9 passer rating at home.
--OL Floyd Womack got some time at both guard positions in Thursday's practice in place of Rob Sims on the left side and Chris Gray on the right side. However, it seems likely that the Seahawks' offensive line remains intact as they try to get their running game going.
--OG Rob Sims is a native of Cleveland and his father, Mickey, played for the Browns in the 1970s. Mickey died in the summer of 2006, just before Rob's first pro training camp.
--OT Walter Jones had only limited participation in Thursday's practice but is expected to play on Sunday.
--OT Sean Locklear was limited in practice on Thursday with a sore right calf but will play on Sunday.
--TE Marcus Pollard, who had arthroscopic knee surgery 10 days ago, has not practiced this week and will not play on Sunday.
--RB Shaun Alexander continues to wear a small cast on his left hand to protect a cracked bone in his wrist but will play on Sunday. He said he will have the wrist re-evaluated on Monday.
-- The Browns placed nose tackle Ted Washington on injured reserve with a knee injury. Washington, 39, is in the final year of his contract with the Browns. He was inactive two of the last three games. Washington will undergo surgery and do his rehab in Cleveland.
-- DB Ricardo Colclough was claimed on waivers from the Pittsburgh Steelers to fill Washington's roster spot. Colclough is a special teams player. A second-round draft choice from Tusculum College in 2004, Colclough played in 33 games plus six in the postseason with the Steelers. He has never started one.
-- LB D'Qwell Jackson missed practice for the second straight day with an ankle injury.
-- LB Kris Griffin missed practice with a strained Achilles.
-- FB Lawrence Vickers returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday after missing Wednesday suffering from concussion syndrome.
INSIDE THE CAMPS:
The return of the Seattle Seahawks' top two receivers was cut in half this week when starting flanker Deion Branch was unable to practice and likely will not play against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Branch, suffering from a sprained foot, declined to discuss his injuries or say when he would be back, but he was not able to even suit up this week, leaving split end D.J. Hackett -- out since the first quarter of the first game with a high ankle sprain -- as the main returning weapon for quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
In this scenario, Bobby Engram, leading the team in receptions and yards, will start at flanker, Hackett will start at split end and Nate Burleson, who has been starting at split end, will become the slot receiver in the three-receiver set. Ben Obomanu will be the team' fourth receiver.
Wide receivers coach Nolan Cromwell said all the receivers are interchangeable and that they all know the various positions so it should not affect how the plays or patterns are run.
He said the thing that Hackett provides that Burleson was lacking is the size to fight off defensive backs and the experience to find open spaces. Burleson has made spectacular plays at times but has been inconsistent, which has led to several interceptions.
"It's good to have him back," Hasselbeck said of Hackett. "You see the level of production that just comes with having guys back. He catches the ball well and he does a good job of getting deep, so hopefully we can have those weapons to our disposal this weekend."
Hackett's return is especially welcome against the Browns, who have the worst pass defense in the league, primarily because they are so young.
Braylon Edwards, on his way to a record-setting season with the Browns, gives credit for his success to coach Romeo Crennel for sticking by him when Edwards was drawing attention to himself last season for ill-advised decisions and comments.
"Romeo always stood by my side, no matter what was going on - good, bad or indifferent," Edwards said. "He never threw me under the bus. He never wavered. He showed me the guy he is, the guy I'm playing for and ultimately the guy I want to give everything I have to.
"I have a lot of respect and love for Coach Crennel. I'm happy we're able to do the things we're doing this season for his sake."
At the pace he is on (669 yards through seven games) Edwards will shatter the Browns' single-season record of 1,236 receiving yards set by Webster Slaughter in 1989. With nine touchdown catches, Edwards is four behind the team record set by Gary Collins in 1963 when the NFL season was 14 games. He will try to increase those numbers Sunday in a game against the Seahawks in Cleveland Browns Stadium. The Browns are seeking their third straight victory.
None of Edwards' infractions last year involved the police or anything that would draw punishment from the NFL. He chartered a helicopter to fly him to Columbus so he could watch the Ohio State-Michigan game and then was late to a meeting in the team hotel that night. The Browns played the Steelers the next day. Edwards also called out former teammate Brian Russell for a hit on Chad Johnson, Edwards' friend, and he criticized then-offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson.
Edwards was caught on camera grabbing Charlie Frye's jersey on the sideline and then later explained he was shouting about the poor protection Frye was getting. Edwards was fined for the helicopter incident. He was finally benched - for one quarter - for being late to team meetings prior to playing Tampa Bay.
Instead of jumping down Edwards' throat during the lost 4-12 season of 2006, Crennel had this to say on Jan. 1, 2007, in his season wrap-up news conference:
"I'm dealing with a young guy who has a lot of maturing to do, and I've said that before. I think some progress has been made this year, even though some people might not believe that.
"I think it will continue to be made. I don't know what everyone wants him to be, but I think he'll be a good football player and a good citizen of the Cleveland community."
Four months after Crennel made his prediction Edwards donated $1 million to the Cleveland Municipal School District to create a college scholarship for 100 eighth-grade students, as long as the students maintain a 2.5 grade average and perform 15 hours of community service a year.
Recently, Edwards befriended a 15-year-old boy whom he visited in a Cleveland hospital. The boy, Denzel Douglas, died Oct. 26 from complications following a heart transplant in 2006. Edwards is paying for the boy's funeral.