Backup Wallace will start at quarterback against Bucs

Updated: October 18, 2008, 11:15 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

RENTON, Wash. -- Mike Holmgren's hopes of avoiding the second 1-5 start of his 17-year coaching career rest upon a backup quarterback who has a sore leg and will make his first start in two years.

Seattle's coach confirmed Friday that Seneca Wallace will start Sunday night at Tampa Bay (4-2). This week's practices proved Wallace's 5-week-old calf injury has healed enough for him to replace Charlie Frye, the third-stringer who was skittish and ineffective in last week's loss to Green Bay.

"He looked OK," coach Mike Holmgren told The Seattle Times Friday. "But more importantly, probably, is that he feels OK. It's going to be his ball game I believe unless something happens in the next two days. And I've got confidence in him."

Wallace had been hampered since injuring his calf in warmups when the Seahawks played San Francisco on Sept. 14. Wallace was expected to see significant time at wide receiver that day.

Wallace recovered enough to play part of the second half against the Giants two weeks ago, but then aggravated the calf again in practice last week.

"Last week, we really went in with one quarterback and that's an uncomfortable feeling," Holmgren told the paper. "This week we have two and there is a sense of relief there."

Matt Hasselbeck will not even make Saturday's trip to Florida. The three-time Pro Bowl passer is continuing core strengthening exercises in his back for a bulging disk, which is pressing on a nerve and weakening his hyperextended right knee. Hasselbeck is out indefinitely.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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