No practice, no play for Alexander

KIRKLAND — The Seattle Seahawks plan to rest several starters at practice this week — most notably quarterback Matt Hasselbeck — but expect to have them available for Sunday’s game at St. Louis.

The one exception is running back Shaun Alexander, whom coach Mike Holmgren continues to tell that he has to practice to play.

Holmgren said Monday that he does not expect Alexander to practice Wednesday, but he later relented and said he has not ruled him out of Sunday’s game.

“I don’t think he’s going to practice Wednesday, but let’s wait and see,” Holmgren said.

Alexander has missed the past two games with a sore left knee. He’s also been nursing a broken bone in his left wrist that requires the running back to wear a cast. While Holmgren said that Alexander has been lobbying to have the cast removed, the plan is to keep some kind of protective device on the wrist.

“We’re going to try to make it smaller to allow him to do a little bit more,” Holmgren said. “It’s bothered him all season long, it really has, his ability to do some stuff.”

As for the other injured Seahawks, their participation in this week’s practices won’t be quite as important.

Holmgren said that Hasselbeck will take time off to rest the bruised ribs he suffered in Sunday’s game.

“He took a shot in the ribs, and he’s real sore,” Holmgren said. “He had ice all over his body when I went down there (to the training room Monday) morning.”

Asked about Hasselbeck’s availability this weekend, Holmgren said: “He’s going to play. … Nothing’s going to keep him out of the game.”

Also expected to take time off are left tackle Walter Jones (shoulder), defensive end Darryl Tapp (stinger) and defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (groin).

Still a kicker: Despite his impressive tackle on Bears return man Devin Hester, kicker Josh Brown is not going to be playing defense anytime soon.

“He used to run down there and want to be in on every tackle,” Holmgren said. “You can’t do that. We’ll lose our kicker.

“We can’t do that. He’s too valuable. I have to chat with him again.”

Back where they belong: The Seahawks, who have spent most of the season in the middle of the pack in terms of offensive statistics, are back in the top 10 in passing yards and total yards.

Seattle ranks eighth in the NFL in passing yards per game (254.0) and ninth in total yards per game (350.2).

The Seahawks’ 22.1 points per game ranks 13th, while the rushing game is 21st in the NFL with an average of 96.2 yards per game.

On defense, Seattle ranks 13th in yards allowed per game (318.7).

Quick slants: Holmgren gave the players Monday off as a reward for the win over the Bears. … Hasselbeck currently ranks seventh in the NFL in passing yards (2,638), touchdown passes (17) and quarterback rating (91.3).

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