KIRKLAND, Wash. -- The Seahawks' insulation from the recent
hex of Super Bowl runners-up has a crack. League MVP Shaun Alexander has a broken left foot and will be lost to the Seahawks
for at least a couple of weeks.
Coach Mike Holmgren said Monday that a bone scan revealed
Alexander sustained a "small crack" and "displaced fracture" on
a non-weight-bearing bone in his foot sometime during the Seahawks'
42-30 win over the New York Giants on Sunday. Alexander ran for 47
yards on 20 carries while wearing new shoes and orthotic inserts
before sitting out the fourth quarter, which began with Seattle
Alexander missed practices last Wednesday and Thursday because
of soreness from a bone bruise he sustained while rushing for 51
yards on 19 carries in the Sept. 10 season opener at Detroit.
Holmgren said last season's NFL rushing leader was on crutches
inside team headquarters Monday, a special player's off day
following their third straight win. Alexander had departed the
facility by the time Holmgren made his announcement.
"You lose the MVP for a while, it's a hit," Holmgren said.
"Let's face it, he's the MVP. We're not going to sugarcoat it."
The test of whether this crack becomes the gaping void that has
derailed the previous five Super Bowl losers begins Sunday night at
Chicago, which is also 3-0. Maurice Morris will make his fifth
career start for Alexander.
Seattle has its bye the following week before playing at
division rival St. Louis on Oct. 15.
"I don't think it will be real lengthy," Holmgren said. "Now,
he just has to stay off of it and let it heal."
Holmgren said he could not yet specify how long Alexander would
"We're looking at a few weeks, let's put it that way,"
Holmgren said. "The good thing is, it's just a small, little crack
-- if you want to talk about a good thing."
Beginning in March, Holmgren has had a ready answer for the many
who have asked about this: Since 2001, the Giants, Rams, Raiders,
Panthers and Eagles have combined to go 31-49 in the seasons
immediately following their Super Bowl losses.
"All that means is, everyone has had key guys get hurt,"
Holmgren said, a message he gave him players more than once before
this season began.
"There's no hocus-pocus to it," Holmgren said repeatedly.
On Sunday, the Seahawks welcomed former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch by featuring four-wide receiver formations, and Matt
Hasselbeck threw a franchise record-tying five touchdown passes.
Seattle's running game was already weakened by current injuries to
starting guards Floyd Womack and Chris Gray and the top two tight
ends, Jerramy Stevens and Itula Mili.
Now, it's Morris instead of Alexander. The second-round draft
choice in 2002 from Oregon rushed 15 times for 18 yards against the
Giants on Sunday.
"I do have a lot of confidence in Mo Morris," Holmgren said,
adding the team also has "some roster things to do" by the end of
"You have only one way to go. Just plug someone in and go."
When asked how he was initially injured, Alexander said last
week, "People falling on you. It is just football. Football is
physical. It is just one of those things."
Holmgren said the original bone bruise led to the small crack.
Alexander has started 69 of the last 70 games for the Seahawks.
His only absence in that span was a 2002 start that he missed to
help with the birth of his first daughter. He entered that game in
the second quarter.
Last season, Alexander rushed for 1,880 yards and scored a
league-record 28 touchdowns. He has just 187 yards, an average of
2.9 yards per carry, and two touchdowns through three games. His
career average is 4.5 yards per rush. He has gained fewer than 100
yards in each of Seattle's three games this season, his first such
streak in two years.
That all is far below the standards he set for himself. During
training camp, he said with a straight face that his goal was to
score 40 touchdowns this season.
"Every game I put unbelievable amount of pressure on me to do
things that are just not normal," Alexander said last week.
"I look at the big picture before the season starts and then
when the season is over and that is about it. After that, it is
just week to week."
Monday, that became weeks to weeks.