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Hasselbeck back in L.A., leaving Wallace the starter

RENTON, Wash. -- Matt Hasselbeck has returned to Los Angeles for a second visit to a back surgeon, leaving Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren to prepare for Sunday's game at Philadelphia with Seneca Wallace as his starting quarterback.

"Right now, he's our quarterback," Holmgren said of Wallace on Monday.

Hasselbeck was having another evaluation on the bulging disk in his back, Holmgren said. The disk is pushing on a nerve that is weakening the three-time Pro Bowler's hyperextended right knee.

Unless Hasselbeck passes a strength test so he can practice before Friday, he will miss his fourth consecutive game on Sunday for Seattle (2-5) against the Eagles (4-3).

"Matt's thing is the same: He'll rehab during the week and see how it is," Holmgren said. "Right now, it's on a week-to-week basis."

Holmgren said a quarterback has to have a strong week of practice to prepare for the array of blitzes the Eagles' defense uses.

Wallace completed 15 of 25 passes for 222 yards and a touchdown and did not turn the ball over in a 34-13 win at San Francisco on Sunday. A week earlier, he went 12-for-23 for just 73 yards and looked bad in a loss at Tampa Bay.

"He just played with more confidence," Holmgren said.

Holmgren said Lofa Tatupu may not practice much this week because of a groin injury he sustained against the 49ers but that the Pro Bowl linebacker was likely to play against Philadelphia.

Pro Bowl defensive end Patrick Kerney injured his surgically repaired shoulder at San Francisco but is also likely to play against the Eagles.

Wide receiver Deion Branch is likely to be out again after some confusion over what the team thought was a bruised heel. The former Super Bowl MVP has played in just one half of a game since reconstructive knee surgery last February.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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