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American Football: Madden curse plaques Alexander

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posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 06:30 PM
League MVP Shaun Alexander will not play Sunday in Seattle's NFC West showdown at St. Louis despite recent tests that show the crack in his foot has diminished.

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren declared Alexander out on Wednesday. Holmgren called him "iffy" on Monday after a new round of pictures of the left foot Alexander cracked Sept. 24 during a win over the New York Giants showed some healing.

Now the Seahawks will hope to have last season's NFL rushing leader return for their Oct. 22 home game against Minnesota. Maurice Morris will make his second consecutive start for Alexander against the Rams.

Starting receiver Bobby Engram is questionable for Sunday with an illness that has left him listless and resting at home, yet another challenge for Seattle's recently struggling offense.

"They are thinking it has something to do with his thyroid. So more news is forthcoming," Holmgren said. "He's not going to be around. He's resting, at home. He didn't have a lot of energy."

Neither has the team that led the NFL in scoring at more than 28 points per game last season. It is 15th now, averaging 19.5 points. The Seahawks have been held without an offensive touchdown in two of four games, blasphemous for offensive guru Holmgren.

Seattle is coming off its bye that followed a 37-6 loss at Chicago, the worst defeat since Holmgren arrived to coach Seattle in 1999. It was the Seahawks' worst output since a 14-3 defeat to Washington on Nov. 3, 2002.

Engram has 18 catches through four games. When asked what he'd miss if Engram can't play, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said: "Just the comfort level I have with him in critical situations. He works the middle of the field better than anyone. He's clutch."

Engram's absence from practice this week has brought back into the offense 2005 contributor D.J. Hackett, who has been inactive for the last two games.

"I like any position, when it's on the field with the chance on getting the ball," Hackett said when asked what role he may fill with Engram out.

It also makes Deion Branch more likely to make his first Seahawks start, opposite team reception leader Darrell Jackson. Holmgren said if Engram does not play, Jackson, Nate Burleson and Hackett will rotate in Engram's primary role as slot receiver on passing downs. Branch would stay exclusively outside.

Burleson played slot receiver with the Minnesota Vikings over parts of 2003-05. He said he didn't begin working inside with the Seahawks until last month.

"But the coaches told me to take a peek at the inside, slot position this week," Burleson said in anticipation that Engram won't play.

posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 05:03 PM
I don't believe in the so-called "Madden Curse" The guys that get put on the cover are top-tier players. They usually have the ball a high percentage of the plays. So there's always a big chance fo rthem to get hurt.


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