RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was limited in practice Friday in his first work this week, leaving open the possibility he could play Sunday night against St. Louis that will decide the NFC West winner.
Hasselbeck will be listed as questionable for the game against the Rams, coach Pete Carroll said. Hasselbeck strained a hip in the first quarter last Sunday in the loss at Tampa Bay.
"He's not ready to play a game today, but he got some work done and he needed to feel getting in the huddle and making his calls," Carroll said. "It's going to make him feel better about the plan if he had a chance to play. I think we've done everything we can do at this point."
Hasselbeck pulled up lame running into the end zone on a bootleg in which he wasn't touched. He went to the ground wincing and was forced to leave the game and did not return.
Carroll was surprised by the amount of work Hasselbeck was able to get in Friday, but said he's preparing as though Hasselbeck won't be available against the Rams and that Charlie Whitehurst will lead Seattle (6-9) in the bid for its first division title since 2007.
Hasselbeck's appearance at practice Friday didn't alter those plans.
"This is just a step, this is the first step to figuring out how Matt can handle the physical stuff," Carroll said. I don't want us to be distracted by that. He's diligently going about preparing to play and that's exactly what we need him to do.
"Charlie's ready to go. In my mind that's how we go until we know otherwise or we have more information."
Carroll said Hasselbeck would be a game-time decision.
Whitehurst took all the snaps in practice Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for what would be his second career start.
He started against the New York Giants in Week 9 and the Seahawks were dominated 41-7. Whitehurst threw for 113 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
He's appeared in relief of Hasselbeck in four other games. He's completed 56 percent of his passes and has a passer rating of 54.7 in five games.
The Seahawks' game plan has been tailored to Whitehurst's strengths as Seattle attempts to become the first team with a losing record to win a division.
"It's Charlie's second start of his life in the NFL so we have to keep that in mind that we've got to take care of him and make sure he can play a game that he's really in command of by the way we call it and direct it and all of that," Carroll said. "That's been the intention throughout the week and he's very much in command of what we're doing."