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Hasselbeck ready to play despite broken wrist

RENTON, Wash. -- Matt Hasselbeck is ready to play against the defending champion New Orleans Saints despite two cracked bones in his left wrist.

Even if he couldn't tie his own shoes earlier this week.

Hasselbeck solicited help from third-string quarterback J.P. Losman in order to lace up his cleats before practice on Wednesday.

"I won't tell you what Charlie (Whitehurst) had to tie, something else," Hasselbeck joked of his backup.

Hasselbeck was wearing a bulky brace on his injured left wrist before practice but has a smaller setup that he uses during practice.

"The setup that I'm going to be playing with, I think I'll be OK. Honestly, I'm OK," Hasselbeck said. "It's really not an issue. We didn't do snaps yesterday and I think we didn't do some hand-offs yesterday, and that was it.

"I'm really not in that much pain at all. I actually feel like I dodged a bullet. I'm not concerned at all."

Hasselbeck put up one of his best passing performances of the past several years, throwing for 333 yards and a touchdown as the Seahawks defeated the Arizona Cardinals 36-18 on Sunday to regain first place in the dismal NFC West.

Hasselbeck suffered the injury on a quarterback sneak attempt late in the first half and was forced to head to the locker room. He missed the first two offensive possessions of the third quarter getting an X-ray of his wrist while the training staff came up with a brace that allowed him to return to the field.

"I was able to play on Sunday with it. I was able to finish the game. The adrenaline of being in a game helps even more," Hasselbeck said. "I can do everything, there's no limitation."

For an offense that showed signs of life for the first time in weeks, it was a big boost for Hasselbeck to return. He was forced to sit out against the New York Giants the week before with a concussion that gave Whitehurst the first start of his NFL career.

Seattle managed just 162 yards of total offense as the Giants cruised to a 41-7 victory.

Hasselbeck had 273 yards passing in the first half alone on Sunday, including a 63-yard touchdown pass to Deon Butler.

"It was big. For him to have a broken hand and tape it up and come and play, it's a division game we're trying to win and get first place... He's the leader, he's the No. 1 quarterback and he wanted to be out there. It means a lot," Sean Locklear said.

Pete Carroll had to keep Hasselbeck from running straight back on the field as soon as he re-emerged from the locker room. Carroll forced him to take snaps, run a couple of handoffs and get warmed up again before sending him back into the huddle.

"He wouldn't let anything get in the way," Carroll said. "He comes in at halftime and they tell him, 'OK, you got a broken wrist.' And he comes back out raring to go and to play. So I think it was a very, very good moment for Matt, for all of us."

Hasselbeck and the Seahawks hope to keep the momentum rolling against the Saints on Sunday. New Orleans is allowing just 166 yards a game through the air, best in the NFL.

"It'll be a challenge and we've got to do it on the road at their place with the crowd noise. So I can't imagine a tougher scenario," Hasselbeck said. "But it's OK. I think we're excited to try."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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