After an outstanding first-half in the first-place Seattle Seahawks’ game against the Arizona Cardinals—he was 17-for-23 with 273 yards and a touchdown—Matt Hasselbeck has left the game with an apparent injury to his left hand. Backup Charlie Whitehurst, who struggled in last week’s disastrous loss, came into the game to start the third quarter; he’s 2-for-3 with 29 yards and one interception.
The Seahawks continue to lead the game 17-10, and running back Justin Forsett—quiet all first half—has picked up four rushes for 54 yards, after he and Marshawn Lynch combined for just eight total rushing yards in the first half. A healthy running game will be key to any victory without Hasselbeck; Whitehurst, still spectacularly inexperienced at 28, will have trouble driving the Seahawks’ offense as thoroughly as Hasselbeck did.
This is Whitehurst’s fourth career game; his first two came in 2006, as a member of the San Diego Chargers, and he’s remained something of an enigma ever since. It’s tough being Philip Rivers’s backup.