Bannister's season in doubt due to broken collarbone

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Alex Bannister, a former Pro Bowl special teams selection, has broken
his right collarbone for the third time in a year.

Coach Mike Holmgren said Monday that further examination
revealed the crack in the bone. Bannister was hurt during the first
half of Sunday's 21-18 win over Atlanta, and X-rays taken at the
stadium came back inconclusive.

Bannister's status for the rest of the season has not been
determined, but Holmgren said the injury will take at least eight
weeks to heal.

"Obviously, the young man is disappointed to say the least,"
Holmgren said. "We haven't decided what we're going to do yet."

With his shoulder wrapped after the game, Bannister said the
injury did not feel as bad as the previous breaks.

Bannister was first injured on Oct. 31, 2004, against Carolina.
He was placed on the injured-reserve list a few days later and
missed Seattle's last eight games of the season and its playoff
game against St. Louis.

He recovered during the offseason, but broke the bone again
during a mini-camp in early June. While running downfield during a
special-teams drill, Bannister collided with a teammate.

Bannister was on the physically-unable-to-perform list during
training camp and did not play during the preseason, but played in
the opener at Jacksonville.

"He's an outstanding special-teams player. We've been without
him for a while now and it has affected our special teams,"
Holmgren said. "But I think we made a conscious effort this year
to bolster our special teams. We have a few more bodies we can
juggle around, but will he be missed? Certainly he will."

A backup receiver his entire 5-year career, Bannister was named
to the Pro Bowl after the 2003 season when he led the Seahawks with
18 special-teams tackles. As a receiver, he has nine career catches
and made four starts.

He had 71 catches and 12 touchdowns his senior year at Eastern