Seahawks don't clear Hasselbeck for Packers; Frye likely to start

Updated: October 11, 2008, 12:06 AM ET
Associated Press

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck served as spectator all week during practice.

He'll likely reprise that role Sunday for the Seahawks (1-3).

Hasselbeck's sore right knee hasn't received clearance to play against Green Bay, meaning that Charlie Frye will likely be the starter against the Packers, coach Mike Holmgren said after practice Friday.

Frye, the only completely healthy quarterback on the roster, took almost all the snaps in practice this week, while Hasselbeck rested his knee and backup Seneca Wallace nursed a sore calf.

Holmgren said there is still a slight chance Hasselbeck could get cleared to play, but Holmgren must have the belief Hasselbeck won't be at an increased risk with his knee not 100 percent to consider putting him in the game.

"Matt, I'm not sure. It will be a game-day decision there," Holmgren said. "The thing just has not responded. He can't do much with his leg. It's not ligaments, it's not anything like that. It's just sore. He doesn't have the green light to play. He could get it, but I have got to feel like he's not too vulnerable out there."

Hasselbeck, officially listed as questionable, was walking just fine as he watched practice in his normal red No. 8 jersey and a neon green hat Friday. But the knee he hyperextended on a hit early in last weekend's 44-6 loss at the New York Giants has not shown progress, meaning Holmgren had to retract his words from earlier in the week that even if Hasselbeck didn't practice this week he would play against the Packers.

As a head coach, Holmgren's never found himself in the position of having to use his No. 3 quarterback to start a game.

"We're just not going to put him at risk out there," Holmgren said. "That's the main thing."

Frye got valuable playing time during the preseason while Hasselbeck was out with a back injury. Frye started twice in the preseason and his display of growth in learning the Seahawks' system allowed Holmgren to tinker with the idea of using Wallace as a receiver last month when Seattle's receiver corps was decimated by injuries.

But Frye has not started a regular-season game since the opening week of the 2007 season with Cleveland, when Frye was lifted for Derek Anderson after just 10 passes, and then was traded to Seattle the following week. His last full game came at the end of the 2006 season, when Frye completed 25 of 35 passes for 187 yards in a loss to Houston.

"It doesn't seem that long ago that I played. I basically played two full games in the preseason and I can lean back on that as experience," Frye said.

"I thought practice went pretty well this week, I was throwing the ball well and I managed to lose my voice. It's the most I've talked in a long time."

The Seahawks likely won't have receiver Deion Branch, who didn't practice all week and was listed as questionable with a bruised heel. But Holmgren plans on starting Bobby Engram and Koren Robinson at receiver after Robinson had a full week of practice without any problems from a sore knee that developed in his first week back with the team.

Keary Colbert, Billy McMullen and Michael Bumpus will rotate in as Seattle's other receivers.

"It's touching. This was my first home and I always look at it like that," said Robinson, the Seahawks' first-round pick in 2001 who eventually wore out his welcome in Seattle three years ago with off-field issues. "Now that I'm back here, which I never thought the situation would happen, I'm back here and about to start and hopefully I get to run out of the tunnel. ... It's going to be a special day for me."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE