By SCOTT M. JOHNSON
KIRKLAND — The wheel of rotating quarterbacks has come to another resting place this week, with the pointer aimed at Brock Huard.
Huard is expected to start this weekend against the Denver Broncos, and Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren hopes he won’t have to make another quarterback decision until the end of the season.
"I have my fingers crossed," Holmgren said. "But right now, I plan to start him."
Huard was back at practice Monday, taking all the snaps with the first team while Jon Kitna watched from the sideline. Kitna had started three consecutive games for the Seahawks, including a performance nine days ago against Jacksonville that earned him AFC offensive player of the week honors.
Huard has missed the past three games because of lingering effects of a concussion he suffered in an Oct. 22 loss to the Oakland Raiders. He should be back in the lineup when the Seahawks host the Broncos on Sunday.
"Health-wise, I’m back to 100 percent," Huard said after Monday’s workout. "The challenge is, being out a few weeks and now getting back into it."
The re-insertion of Huard into the starting lineup marks another twist to an already tangled quarterback position this season. Kitna started the season opener, but almost got benched following a four-interception performance at Miami. Huard eventually did take the job, in Week 6, but lasted only three weeks before getting knocked out due to a concussion.
Kitna went into the bye week with his finest performance of the season after completing 22 of 33 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Jacksonville.
Huard was one of the few players to stay behind last week, when Holmgren gave the team time off before Sunday’s bye. Huard underwent tests and worked out for team trainers, then was finally cleared to practice Monday for the first time in nearly a month.
"These things usually don’t linger more than mine seemed to linger. Mine was probably even more unusual because it kind of lasted a couple weeks," Huard said of the concussion. "I was anxious and excited to work out last week. I wish we were practicing (Monday) afternoon, and (Tuesday) and Wednesday morning, because I just need to get back out here and get going."
Huard looked a little rusty at practice, but that’s to be expected. Holmgren did not waste any time in giving him back the job, even though Kitna had his most effective game of the season last time out.
"Brock was the starting quarterback before he was injured," Holmgren said. "Lord knows we’ve talked enough about the plan. Now we’re sticking with the plan, and I expect the offense to maintain the level of play they’ve showed the last few games."
Holmgren’s so-called "plan" involves finding out who is the Seahawks’ quarterback of the future. Already having 25 games in which to evaluate Kitna, Holmgren wants to see as much of Huard as he can during the final five games of the season.
"I want to see him play well, make good decisions, be careful with the football, throw the ball accurately," Holmgren said, "the things that I need to find out from anybody who plays that position.
"We all got a little taste of it in the (three) games he started. I thought, in particular, the Indianapolis game he played a good football game. Now we just have five games left in the season. Hopefully, he can maintain what he did before and get us some wins."
Huard realizes how important these five games are to his career, so he’s hoping the concussion is a thing of the past.
"I’ll be excited to play Sunday," Huard said. "I need to get in rhythm this week and get my feet, literally, back under me."
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