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Seattle might be minus Alexander

The Pro Bowl running back, who gained 1,435 yards last season, is day to day because of a knee injury.

Associated Press
Published September 14, 2004

KIRKLAND, Wash. - Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander has a bone bruise on his right knee, but could play in Sunday's game at Tampa Bay.

"It might be a week or two," coach Mike Holmgren said Monday. "There's a chance he can play this week. We'll just have to see how it goes."

Said Alexander: "I'm a fast healer. I'll be all right."

An MRI exam disclosed the injury, which was reported as a knee sprain during Seattle's 21-7 win Sunday at New Orleans. Alexander rushed for 135 yards on 28 carries, ran for two touchdowns and caught a scoring pass.

Doctors told him he was fortunate no ligaments were torn.

"The knee bone and the leg bone, they smacked into each other and that's not normal," Alexander said. "Everyone said that I'm really blessed. Normally, you tear an ACL or an MCL when that happens. Mine didn't."

If Alexander can't play, Maurice Morris or Kerry Carter will step in. Holmgren said it won't change his team's preparation.

"We hope he can play, but if he can't then we'll have to go to the next guy," Holmgren said. "I'd expect that man to play well, and that goes for any position on the team."

Alexander is coming off his first Pro Bowl season, when he had a career-high 1,435 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. It was the best effort by a Seattle back since Chris Warren's franchise-record 1,545 yards rushing in 1994.

Morris has played mostly as a kickoff returner in two seasons. Backing up Alexander, he has 392 yards rushing in 27 games. He carried four times for 10 yards Sunday.

"Shaun had a big game. When he gets into the red zone, he's deadly," fullback Mack Strong said. "But I don't think a lot of teams around the league know about Maurice Morris, and he's an exceptional back himself."

The Seahawks had no other injuries, and Holmgren was relieved to get a road victory to open a season that is loaded with high expectations.

"You must beat good football teams on the road to win the championship," Holmgren said. "That win meant a lot to us."

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