Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the team is moving ahead with plans to start quarterback Charlie Whitehurst in the NFC West title matchup with the St. Louis Rams.
Carroll said quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is rehabilitating to make a return from a strain in his hip area, mainly working in a therapy pool. Carroll said Hasselbeck insists he'll make it back for Sunday's game against the Rams.
"Matt is not going to take this any other way -– he's going to get right for this game," Carroll said, according to the team's official website. "He thinks he's going to make it. It's going to be against the odds if he can do that, but he's willing to go for it, and we'll see what it means later in the week."
A start for Whitehurst would be the second of his NFL career. Whitehurst's only other NFL start came in a 41-7 loss to the New York Giants earlier this season.
"Charlie was excited," Seahawks wide receiver Mike Williams said Wednesday after practice. "You can kind of sense that he's ready to take this challenge on, and take advantage of this stage and this opportunity."
"After plays, Charlie was coming over to the wideouts and talking about the routes and the adjustments," Williams added. "Similar stuff to how Matt is. You could tell Charlie is ready to go. You could tell he's had his opportunities here and there, and he's ready to seize the moment."
And as for the stress of making such a big start with the division title on the line?
"Well, it is. It's all on him," Carroll said. "We already talked about it. This is the big opportunity. This is the big challenge. This is the big spotlight. This is all of that for him, and it's nothing that a player doesn't dream of having. So he's prepared as well as he could have to this point.
"He knows it's one of those moments."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.