Even though Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has been suffering from a sore back all season and was pounded to the tune of seven sacks in a loss to Dallas last week, he said he will continue to play the final four games of the season even as his offensive line crumbles around him.
"It definitely is a dangerous situation," Hasselbeck said. "I don't think anybody on our team is 100 percent; it's one of those situations where you try to rehab as much as you can and then give the team everything you got."
And yet, Hasselbeck said, he will play out the final four games of the season -- and Holmgren's coaching career.
"The fact that we're out of it to me doesn't affect anything," Hasselbeck said. "If someone decides to play it a little differently at the end, that is their call. As a player you really have to have tunnel vision, you have to focus on yourself and on your body."
At the end of the Dallas game, Holmgren was so worried about Hasselbeck's health that he put in two fullbacks to provide extra pass protection.
But, he said, he is not inclined to sit Hasselbeck, though he admitted to having mixed feelings about the subject.
"You get torn, because you're competitive and you want to win the game and you see some good things out there that probably only he can do, but look, I hope we can protect him a little better than we did last week," Holmgren said. "That's our goal. I can probably help somewhat in play selection, and run the ball a little bit more and those types of things. You're still trying to win the game. You're trying to do what you need to do. I don't want him to get (hurt). I don't want anybody to get hurt."
--QB Matt Hasselbeck is coming off his most impressive performance of the season, despite getting sacked seven times. He threw for nearly 300 yards -- the first time this season he threw for more than 200 yards -- though the Seahawks never got in the end zone. He is expected to play on Sunday against New England.
--RB T.J. Duckett is expected to get additional playing time this week as the Seahawks wrap up what has been their worst season since 1992.
--TE John Carlson was expected to catch between 40 and 50 passes this year, best-case scenario. He already has 38 receptions and three touchdowns with four games remaining, far exceeding the coaching staff's expectations. He leads the team in both receptions and receiving yards.
--WR Koren Robinson has a chronically sore knee and will miss a day of practice this week, but he is expected to play against the Patriots.
--WR Deion Branch, the 2004 MVP for the Patriots, will be facing his former team for the first time since being traded in 2006 for a first-round pick.
--DT Red Bryant, who has missed five weeks with a high ankle sprain, could play this week against New England.
--S C.J. Wallace, who has missed four weeks with a hamstring injury, could play this week against New England.
--C Chris Spencer is likely to be placed on injured reserve this week because of a sore back that is not getting better.
--G Mike Wahle, who has missed two games with a shoulder injury, is out this week and could be placed on injured reserve because the shoulder is not responding to rehab.
--LB Leroy Hill, who suffered a stinger against the Cowboys, has not gotten back the strength in his right shoulder. He is doubtful for Sunday's game against New England.