Strong safety Michael Boulware expects to practice this week and play Sunday, a week after losing feeling in his legs during a 37-31 victory over St. Louis. That's good news for a Seattle secondary that will be without starting cornerback Andre Dyson.
Boulware is grateful he did not suffer a debilitating injury after a scary collision with Rams G Tom Nutten. Medics removed Boulware from the field on a board and took him to the hospital as Boulware feared the worst. To find out he could walk again was nice enough, but being able to play this week?
"I was very surprised," Boulware said. "Especially because early on, I was just concerned about being able to walk and the possibility of having to retire and that sort of thing.
"Now the possibility of playing has got me excited."
Boulware still has some pain in his lower back, but it is nothing serious. "There's no reason to think he won't play," coach Mike Holmgren said.
Boulware has 21 tackles, two sacks and two passes defensed in five games this season. A second-round pick in 2004, he finished last season with 63 tackles, one sack and five interceptions.
Most of Boulware's big plays last season came while playing linebacker in the nickel defense. He is a full-time strong safety now, and the adjustment is taking some time. Boulware struggles with his footwork, but he is a big-time athlete. The Seahawks think he has Pro Bowl potential.
Defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes suspected Boulware might appear to regress a bit this season, however, because this is his first full season in the secondary. Boulware played linebacker at Florida State.
--RB Shaun Alexander leads the NFL in rushing and is on pace for more than 1,800 yards this season. He also has eight rushing touchdowns. Alexander is flourishing behind a veteran line, and he increasingly has the confidence of his coach. Mike Holmgren used to be somewhat reluctant to give the ball to Alexander in short-yardage situations because his featured back sometimes sacrificed the sure gain for a chance at the big play. Alexander is picking his spots this season and the offense is benefiting.
--FB Mack Strong is having a Pro Bowl-caliber season, and not only because there aren't many elite fullbacks these days. Strong was the lead blocker on Alexander's 18-yard TD run against the Rams, and again when Alexander gained 5 yards on third-and-4, which is almost always a passing down in the NFL.
--QB Matt Hasselbeck is coming off one of his best games. Coach Mike Holmgren was most pleased by the poise Hasselbeck showed during the team's first victory in St. Louis since 1997. "The impressive thing for me was that he was pretty poised," Holmgren said. "At times, you watch him play and it gets a little hectic in there and he starts making audible checks and stuff. He gets hit and we start going in the wrong direction, particularly in domes where it's really noisy. I thought (Sunday) he handled it beautifully. I thought he really played a solid game that way."
--QB Seneca Wallace has yet to attempt a pass since the final minutes of a blowout victory over Arizona in Week 3. The team had considered using Wallace on punt returns this season, but that changed when Seattle did not sign a veteran backup passer. The Seahawks need to keep Wallace healthy because they have no viable alternatives should starting QB Matt Hasselbeck suffer an injury.
--WR Darrell Jackson is scheduled to undergo knee surgery Wednesday to repair a torn lateral meniscus. He could miss 4-6 weeks.
--WR Bobby Engram is not yet ready to take the pain-killing injections that could allow him to play with cracked ribs. "He has to feel like he can run and those things and if he were to get anything to help with the pain, the area that now is rather large causing him discomfort has to shrink so they can put the medicine in where they have to put it in," coach Mike Holmgren said. "Right now, it's too large. But he's on schedule and he's getting better." Holmgren said there is not yet a specific timetable for Engram's return.
--WR Joe Jurevicius' speed is deceptive because he takes long strides. Jurevicius stands 6-5 and weighs 230 pounds, not much smaller than some tight ends. He has outstanding hands as well. Jurevicius should continue to contribute for Seattle. This is the first time he has been a featured receiver in a high-powered offense. Seattle currently leads the NFL in yards per game.
--TE Jerramy Stevens is on pace for 48 catches, a career high. He ranks sixth among NFL tight ends in yards receiving with 220. The production should continue at the current pace, particularly while former starting TE Itula Mili is recovering from an intestinal blockage. Mili could return in the next couple weeks.
--P Tom Rouen posted a net average longer than 39 yards in his first game with the Seahawks since October 2004. His performance Sunday against the Rams helped Seattle enjoy favorable field position, marking a huge upgrade over recently released P Leo Araguz. Rouen was out of football after suffering a severely pulled hamstring injury while trying to make a tackle last season. He worked his way back from the injury and went to camp with Carolina this summer.
Seahawks News & Notes – 10/12/05
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