KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Running back Shaun Alexander will start in the Seahawks' game Sunday at Philadelphia after practicing for a third straight day following a 3 1/2-week absence with a sprained knee.
Exactly how much the NFL's 2005 MVP will play remains unclear. Alexander also has a broken left wrist and will wear a cast in the game.
"He is really moving well. He has no pain and he wants to play," coach Mike Holmgren said Friday before the team flew east.
Holmgren reiterated that backup Maurice Morris will get more carries than he usually would when Alexander starts. Morris has averaged 85 yards rushing while starting the last three games -- all Seahawks wins -- for Alexander, who has struggled this season and been booed at home.
Morris scored two touchdowns in those three games, as many as Alexander has in eight games this season.
"We're going to play them both. Mo will probably play a little bit more than before Shaun was hurt," Holmgren said. "I think Shaun understands that. He's handling it like a real professional."
Alexander also understands this is not the same offense in which he ran for a team-record 1,880 yards and set the NFL single-season record with 28 touchdowns two seasons ago. Seattle has taken control of its division by largely abandoning a stalled running game and relying more than ever on Matt Hasselbeck's passing.
Alexander missed six games last season with a broken foot then averaged 112 yards per game over the final six weeks of the regular season. Holmgren would welcome a similar boost now.
"Think of this now: We're getting back the MVP of the league," Holmgren said. "Last year when he was hurt we struggled just a little bit. He came back and gave us a little bit of burst at the end there, remember. I'm hopeful it will be the same thing this year."
Alexander said he feels better than he has since Week 2 and is just happy to be back on the field, however his role has changed.
"I'm just excited," he said. "I'm like a kid in a candy store right now."
Seattle's defense welcomed Lofa Tatupu back to practice for the first time in a week. The two-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker had missed the previous two days with a strained oblique muscle he injured last weekend at St. Louis.
Starting defensive tackle Rocky Bernard also returned to practice after sitting out two days to rest his sore groin. Bernard, who hasn't missed a start this season, is expected to play.
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