Seahawks will prepare as if Whitehurst is starter

The Seattle Seahawks are pinning their playoff hopes, what’s left of them anyway, on Charlie Whitehurst.

Coach Pete Carroll announced this afternoon that the career backup will prepare to start in place of Matt Hasselbeck on Sunday night when the Seahawks host the St. Louis Rams with the NFC West title on the line. The winner will enter the NFC playoffs as the fourth seed and most likely host the New Orleans Saints in a wild-card round game on Jan. 8 or 9.

Starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who has struggled this season, is battling a strained leg.

“I know that we can count on that," Carroll said of Whitehurst, according to Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times. "And then we'll see what happens with Matt later on and see where he fits in. And Matt's going to do everything he can. He's absolutely determined to be playing in this game. He's already stated, 'I'm going to be there.' But we need to find that out."
Hasselbeck was injured on a one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter of Seattle’s blowout loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday.

“It may be manageable," Carroll said. "It may be. The MRI results were not such that he doesn't have a chance. They were very hopeful that he does have an opportunity to get back, but we won't know for days so it's kind of a difficult situation for us because we don't know and we're not sure what's going to happen until we find out the news probably by Friday, Saturday. It may go all the way to game time.

"We're going with Charlie because we know he's ready to go. He'll be able to have a great week and practice every snap and go full speed and all of that. If we knew this injury differently, we might be able to predict it. It's just a very unusual spot that Matt has sustained the strain. We just know how to predict what's going to happen so with that thought, that uncertainty, we're moving ahead without uncertainty."

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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