No need for Seahawks to call 9-1-1

It's already been a trying season for Seattle head coach Mike Holmgren and more stress was added when his starting quarterback, who had just returned from a knee injury, hurt his non-throwing hand in his first game back. Holmgren talked today about having QB Matt Hasselbeck back and some roster moves the team made to shore up some depth.

"He played a pretty good game - except for four plays," Holmgren told the assembled media today. "It's just good to have your leader back."

Those four plays are likely to be Hasselbeck's three interceptions and one fumble that resulted in 14 points for the Green Bay Packers, but the ninth-year veteran came back to throw for 157 yards and three touchdowns as well.

All this despite a painful left hand that had struck a helmut early in the game and Holmgren went on to take a good-natured jab at the local media who breathlessly reported the "non-injury" on Tuesday.

"Goodness gracious," Holmgren said. "I mean, I'd be the last one to be critical of these Watergate-type investigative reporters, because I think that was a very important time in our history. It was important that story came out.

"This, however, is not one of those situations. So in an effort to 'break the big one,' I am going on record saying this is not that big a deal. OK?"

What's good for the Seahawks could also be construed as bad for their opponents as RB Shaun Alexander, playing in only his second game after missing six weeks with a broken bone in his foot carried the ball a team-record 40 times for a season-high 201 yards against the Packers.

With their two biggest players on offense back, it's the role-players that Holmgren is now focusing on – specifically center Robbie Tobeck, RT Sean Locklear and WR Bobby Engram.

Engram will miss his eighth-straight game this weekend. He's trying to find the right dosage of medication for a thyroid problem that was discovered in September. The current dosage he's taking causes him fatigue.

WR D.J. Hackett has benefited from Engram's absence this season, on the way his best year in the pros, catching 25 passes for 306 yards and two scores while playing the third-receiver role in Seattle's offense.

Locklear missed a game serving a suspension for a domestic abuse conviction and has also missed the past four games with a high ankle sprain on his left leg. Holmgren noted that he would be a game time decision this week against the Denver Broncos on the road.

Lastly, Holmgren mentioned that Tobeck would miss the game against the Broncos due to an abscess on his hip. Seattle's veteran center had missed two games while battling the flu and then spent Thanksgiving in the hospital getting intravenous antibiotics for the infection.

In his place, Seattle's 2005 first-round draft choice Chris Spencer will make his fourth-straight start.

Holmgren also noted that FB Josh Parry has been placed on injured reserve and the Seahawks have signed Bennie Joppru, a second-round draft choice by Houston in 2003, who has only played in one game in four years.

Joppru is a solid blocker who made a name for himself while at the University of Michigan as a good receiver as well. He'll most likely play an H-Back position for the Seahawks while backing up FB Mack Strong at the fullback position. Seattle hits the practice field on Thursday to prepare for their Sunday night game versus the Broncos.

Scott Eklund writes and reports for Seahawks.NET and Feel free to contact him at Top Stories