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Carroll: Hasselbeck will play vs. Saints despite wrist injury

RENTON, Wash. -- For at least this week, the Seattle Seahawks are comfortable with Matt Hasselbeck's discomfort.

If that means another performance like Sunday's in Arizona, the Seahawks will be plenty pleased.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Monday that Hasselbeck has two small cracks in his left wrist, courtesy of a questionable fourth-down sneak called in Sunday's 36-18 win over the Cardinals.

The injury is not significant enough that Hasselbeck will miss any time. He will be fitted with a protective cast or splint this week and should be able to play at New Orleans.

But it won't be his easiest week of preparations.

"We took a really serious, good look to figure it all out and feel very comfortable with it," Carroll said. "He's going to be uncomfortable, you know, for a while here."

Carroll said on its own, the injury would take about four to six weeks to fully heal. But with Seattle (5-4) leading the NFC West by a game over the St. Louis Rams, this is not the time for Hasselbeck to be taking a seat if possible.

And with the way Hasselbeck played Sunday, the Seahawks don't want their quarterback sitting out.

Hasselbeck threw for 333 yards and a touchdown in the victory, his best passing total since throwing for 334 yards against Chicago three years ago. Most of Sunday's yards came in the first half, when Hasselbeck carved up the Cardinals' secondary for 273 yards.

That is, until Carroll decided to go for it on fourth down at the Arizona 16 late in the first half instead of settling for a field goal. Hasselbeck tried to sneak ahead for the first down, but came up short and had his wrist injured on the play.

Hasselbeck thought his day was finished, only to return in the second half and help the Seahawks cinch the victory.

"(He) comes back out and just shows his grit and toughness and how determined he is to help this football team in any way that he can," Carroll said.

After getting outscored 74-10 in its previous two games and getting thoroughly trounced both times, Sunday was a significant rebound victory for Seattle. The Seahawks' offense showed life it hadn't displayed in more than a month, while defensively Seattle closed down running lanes that were blown open in the previous two weeks by the Oakland Raiders and the New York Giants.

The Raiders and Giants combined for 436 yards rushing against Seattle. The Cardinals managed just 41.

"I'm glad we were able to come back after the two weeks that were dismal performances and show that we can play football again," Carroll said.

There was also a little grit shown by the Seahawks, and not just by Hasselbeck. Wide receiver Mike Williams broke his pinky finger in practice last Thursday, then went out and matched his career high with 11 catches and set a new career mark with 145 yards receiving.

Williams has 46 receptions for 545 yards this season. He had 44 catches for 539 yards in his career before the season began.

Carroll hopes that his suddenly clicking offense can get another boost with the potential return of rookie left tackle Russell Okung. Carroll said Okung has been cleared for practice, but the Seahawks won't know until the end of the week if Okung can return from his second high-ankle sprain this season.

Okung has played in just three games, but if he can return, Seattle would finally have the offensive line it envisioned when the season began.

"So there's nothing that we can do but get through it and so we're supporting him and making sure that we're cognizant of how tough it is on him," Carroll said. "He wants to be part of this football team. He's a great, competitive kid and it just hasn't happened for him."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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