Week 17's grand finale got a little less grand Wednesday, when Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll admitted it was unlikely that starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck would start in the team's Sunday Night appearance vs. the St. Louis Rams. NFL.com reports Carroll saying that Hasselbeck's return would be "against the odds", and that the team is preparing beleaguered backup Charlie Whitehurst for the biggest start of his career.
Hasselbeck came up limping against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and did not return; he's keen on playing but the team seems less certain than he does. Replacing him will be Charlie Whitehurst, who was 11-for-18 for 66 yards against the Buccaneers. In four games as Hasselbeck's caddy Whitehurst has been 35-for-63 for 315 yards, a touchdown, and three interceptions. A third-rounder in 2006, he vanished behind Philip Rivers for several years before the Seahawks decided he played some role in their quarterback future. At 28 he'll be seeing the most significant action of his career against the Rams.
The Rams will send Sam Bradford out against the Seahawks for the 16th game of his rookie season.