Alexander likely to miss fifth straight Seahawks game
Tests unexpectedly showed that Alexander's foot remained cracked on Monday. That means Seattle likely will not have its 2005 NFL rushing leader for next Monday night's game against Oakland.
"He had pictures taken today. And the doctors, medical people, are reluctant to give me the green light on Shaun based on what they saw in the pictures," coach Mike Holmgren said after the team returned from its third loss in four games, at Kansas City.
Alexander has been pain-free for more than a week. But he agrees with team doctors who are trying to ensure the crack is completely gone before he plays again, and to prevent a full fracture that would require surgery.
"He is getting better. He is feeling better. And his crack has healed a bunch. But they were not ready to hand him over to me, so to speak.
"So it looks as though it's going to be at least another week."
Alexander cracked his fourth metatarsal Sept. 24 against the New York Giants in a left foot he had badly bruised in the Sept. 10 opener. Soon after the break was discovered, the Seahawks estimated he would miss at least a couple of weeks.
Then last week, Alexander began running on a treadmill without pain for the first time since the injury. The Seahawks listed him as doubtful for Sunday's loss at Kansas City and figured he'd return for the Raiders.
Seattle is 1-3 without him -- the lone win coming on the last play at St. Louis on Oct. 15. The Seahawks, with replacement Maurice Morris, rushed for a season-low 47 yards Sunday against a Chiefs defense that had been allowing an average of 124 yards rushing.
The Seahawks are averaging 92 yards rushing this season. Last year, with Alexander healthy and running for 1,880 yards, they were third in the NFL at 154 yards per game.
"Right now, we can't run worth a darn," Holmgren said.
Holmgren said he's "disappointed" that Alexander can't play against Oakland. "And I'm sure he is. He's been bugging me a lot, you know.
"But we've been playing without him for a while, so it's not that big of a shock," he said.
"And, quite honestly, when he gets back, if we keep making the same mistakes we've been making it won't make any difference, anyway."
Alexander now is expected back for the Nov. 12 home game against St. Louis. That looms as Seattle's biggest game this season, given the Rams and Seahawks are currently tied atop the floundering NFC West at 4-3 -- and that Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is not expected back by then from a sprained knee ligament.
After the Rams game, only two of Seattle's final seven games come against teams currently with winning records: Dec. 3 at Denver and Dec. 24 against San Diego.
Holmgren said Hasselbeck, who is off crutches, remains on track to return Nov. 19 at San Francisco. Seneca Wallace, who made his first NFL start on Sunday and threw three touchdown passes, will continue to start in his absence.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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