WR Burleson hurts left leg, confident he'll return next week

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Seahawks receiver Nate Burleson is confident he'll play next weekend after limping off the field with a left knee injury on Sunday.

Coach Mike Holmgren was more reserved, saying Burleson's status won't be determined until he has more tests once the team returns to Seattle.

What is evident is that the Seahawks' already banged-up receivers aren't getting much healthier following a 34-10 season-opening loss at Buffalo on Sunday.

Burleson, who caught a 20-yard touchdown pass in the first half, was hurt when he tripped himself up while trying to cut back for a pass at the Bills' 20. He lay on the field for several minutes and required help to get up. Burleson then limped off, favoring his left leg, and trainers iced his left knee on the bench.

Afterward, Burleson walked with a limp but told reporters he expects to be ready to play Sunday, when Seattle plays host to San Francisco.

Seattle also lost starting running back Maurice Morris, who did not return after hurting his right knee early in the second half. Holmgren would only say that Morris will also be evaluated Monday.

The Seahawks are already down three receivers, including starters Bobby Engram and Deion Branch. Engram, who set a team record with 94 catches last season, is out perhaps into October with broken shoulder. Branch, began practicing this week, but his playing status is uncertain, seven months into his rehabilitation from reconstructive knee surgery.

Then there's Ben Obomanu who was placed on season-ending injured reserve last week with a broken clavicle.

Burleson's injury left Courtney Taylor as the only receiver on the Seahawks roster with a catch prior to Sunday.

Taylor finished with two catches for 19 yards, but also had numerous drops. Burleson led the team with five catches for 60 yards. Rookie tight John Carlson added four catches for 52 yards.

"We've got to take it in stride," Taylor said, referring to the injuries. "Our other receivers need to step up and make a big play. We didn't today."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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