After two days of sitting out and watching, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck took some snaps with the first unit during a 45-minute walk through this morning, and then stayed after to work on drops and throw some routes under the watchful eye of head coach Pete Carroll.
And the verdict?
“Charlie’s going,” Carroll said. “We’ve been committed to that because that’s what we can count on and that’s what we know. Charlie had a real solid week. He did everything we needed him to do, so he’s ready for the game.”
However, Hasselbeck, who’s been out most of the week with a hip injury, will be listed as questionable for Sunday’s contest against the Rams.
“I was a little bit surprised he was able to move as much as he did today,” Carroll said. “He’s not ready to play a game today, but he got some work done. He needed to feel it – getting into the huddle and making his calls. It’s going to make him feel better about the plan if he has a chance to play. … We’ve just got to see if he can run, and right now we don’t know.”
Carroll said just because Hasselbeck practiced today, it does not necessarily mean he will start on Sunday if he’s deemed okay by the team’s training staff.
“It’s not that simple,” Carroll said. “Charlie is ready to go. And in my mind that’s how we go until we know otherwise and we have more information. We don’t have enough right now.
“This is just the first step to figuring out how Matt can handle the physical stuff. So I don’t want us to be distracted by that. Matt’s diligently going about preparing to play, and that’s exactly what we need him to do. And if it’s possible, he’s going to will it to happen that he’s ready to play on game day.”
Hasselbeck was listed as a limited participant in practice. Wide receiver Brandon Stokley (head) did not practice and is listed as questionable. Linebacker Lofa Tatupu (knee) and kicker Olindo Mare (back) were full participants in practice and are probable.
Also, the Seahawks made another change along the offensive line. Tyler Polumbus worked all week with the first unit at left guard, and will start there on Sunday in place of Chester Pitts. So the Seahawks will start their 10th different starting offensive line combination on Sunday.
Polumbus has started six games this season, but all of those starts have came at offensive tackle, so the move to start at left guard comes as a bit of a surprise. Polumbus was used in a pinch for a couple snaps at left guard at the end of the Kansas City game and has served as depth there, but now he will be counted on as a starter on Sunday, with Mike Gibson continuing as the starter at right guard, and the rest of the starters along the offensive line remaining the same.
“He’s a big, strong guy that has played well for us,” Carroll said about the move. “I want to see how he does on that left side. We want to make sure that we’re doing the best that we can possibly do. Chester’s ready to play in this game as well. And we’ll see how that goes.
“It’s always about competition. We’re just trying to make sure that our guys know you have to keep working hard, and you’ve got to keep pushing. And guys can get elevated and opportunities can change.”
“There’s certainly a difference to the positions, but I’ve been practicing there for a few weeks now and getting used to it,” Polumbus said about the move. “So I feel comfortable there now.”
Several injured players were in the locker room afterward getting treatment, including Deon Butler, Roy Lewis, Red Bryant and Ray Willis.
Carroll also congratulated the University of Washington and head coach Steve Sarkisian on the team’s win over Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl last night.
“I’m so thrilled for them,” Carroll said. “That accomplishment is extraordinary, and it shows where the program is going and how people can look to the future and be so grateful and hopeful that it’s going in the direction that it is.”