With the return of Deion Branch and Bobby Engram, Seattle coach Mike Holmgren has a good problem of too many bodies at wide receiver.
By the end of the week he’ll have to decide if Branch and Engram are healthy enough to play, and if so, how to use those veteran receivers in a rotation along with the other guys in a package that gives the team the best chance to win.
If Branch is healthy, he seems the most likely person to start at split end. And if Engram can go, he’d be the most likely person to play flanker. Engram could then slide inside to play slot during three-receiver sets, with Keary Colbert filling in at flanker.
However, both Billy McMullen and Michael Bumpus have made plays early in the season and deserve some time as well. Add Koren Robinson and Courtney Taylor to the mix, and it will be interesting to see what kind of rotation Holmgren comes up with.
Frank Hughes talks to wide receiver Deion Branch, and he confidently says he’s ready to go after eight months of rehabbing an ACL injury. A healthy Branch would add a spark to Seattle’s offense. Branch said he’ll ask teammates to be more physical with him during practice so he can test the stability of his knee.
Gregg Bell of the Associated Press has more on Branch.
Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald says the Seahawks have the pleasant problem of having too many healthy receivers. Coach Mike Holmgren said he’ll try to figure out a rotation by the end of the week.
Johnson also notes the return of Sean Locklear to right tackle in this notebook.
The Plaxico Burress story continues, as Jay Glazer of Fox Sports writes that according to his sources Burress has been fined 40 to 50 times for breaking team rules, and that the only way team officials could get his attention was by suspending him for a game.
The Associated Press also reports that the Giants might trim the star receiver’s fine, but not the suspension.
San Francisco 49ers
Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that tight end Vernon Davis was benched midway through the fourth quarter after an emotional outburst when he caught his only pass of the game. Davis said he was just being himself.
Said Davis: "I was just fired up. I didn’t say anything to the coaches. I just wanted more."
After giving up six sacks against New Orleans the 49ers need to shore up their offensive line. San Francisco has given up 19 sacks on the year, six more than any team in the league.
Here’s the transcript of Mike Nolan’s Monday press conference, provided by Matt Maiocco’s instant 49ers blog.
Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic says wide receiver Anquan Boldin is at home and resting after getting sandwiched against the Jets.
Jets safety Eric Smith was fined $50,000 and suspended for one game by the NFL for the hit on Boldin.
Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune reports that the Cardinals will look to regroup after giving up a franchise-worst 56 points and turning the ball over seven time against the Jets.
St. Louis Rams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Jim Thomas says Jim Haslett will not be interim coach of the Rams, just coach, giving him a little more permanence in his new job with 12 games left.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bryan Burwell praises Rams owner Chip Rosenbloom for making the right moves this week by putting Hasslett in place and turning over the reins of the team to football people instead of high-powered attorneys.