Burleson expects Hasselbeck to play

Updated: October 9, 2009, 10:44 AM ET
Associated Press

RENTON, Wash. -- All signs are pointing toward Matt Hasselbeck returning to quarterback the reeling Seahawks on Sunday against Jacksonville.

The three-time Pro Bowl passer looked sharp while completing a second consecutive practice Thursday. It's his first work since he broke a rib Sept. 20 on a dive for the goal line at San Francisco.

The team officially listed him as limited on the daily practice report it filed to the league. Hasselbeck took the majority of snaps with the first-team offense, with backup Seneca Wallace left with only a few.

Hasselbeck didn't look very limited to top receiver Nate Burleson. He expects Hasselbeck to be throwing to him Sunday.

"Yeah, he wouldn't be taking as many reps as he has this week if he wasn't," Burleson said. "Plus, he looks good, really zipping the ball in there."

Burleson was smiling while talking about the return of his starting quarterback. Seattle (1-3) has lost three straight games, with Hasselbeck missing 2 1/2 of them.

"When you are labeled a starter at quarterback in this league, that's a big deal," said Burleson, who is second in the NFC with 24 catches. "Regardless of whether the backup is better, or as good, they want him on the field. And by 'they' I mean players, coaches, fans, the whole organization.

"It does more for the morale of the team than anything."

The Seahawks could use a pick-me-up. Five starters are already out for Sunday's game, including three-fifths of the offensive line.

Coach Jim Mora said this week there is a "major sense of urgency, a HUGE sense of urgency" following a blowout loss at Indianapolis, which has Seattle essentially three games behind first-place San Francisco (3-1) in the NFC West because the Seahawks have already lost to the 49ers.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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