KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Shaun Alexander might still have a broken foot, something he doesn't want confirmed just yet.
The Seattle Seahawks' star running back said Monday his left foot, broken for the final four months of last season, may still be cracked as he begins the 2007 preseason.
The 2005 NFL MVP doesn't want to know for sure until after his team's veteran minicamp ends Thursday.
"I don't even want to get another X-ray until after this
camp," a smiling Alexander said after his fourth consecutive day
of occasionally carrying the ball during no-contact, no-pads
drills. "If the X-ray shows it's still cracked, it's like, 'OK.
What does that mean?'"
The club dismissed the report and, rather than comment directly about Alexander's health, pointed out that of all the media who particpated in the interview with Alexander, only one featured the remarks about his foot.
Last winter, team doctors finally cleared Alexander to play
because they deemed remote the risk of completely breaking through
a crack in the fourth metatarsal. He sat out seven weeks because of
an injury that began as a severe bruise sustained when a Detroit
Lions tackler fell on it during the season opener.
In his second game back, Alexander plowed through the snow for
201 yards on a Seattle-record 40 carries against Green Bay. He
averaged 112 yards per game over the final six weeks of the regular
season, and finished the year with 896 yards rushing and seven
touchdowns in 10 games.
In the NFC playoffs, a bobbled snap on fourth down in Chicago
territory helped the Bears stop Alexander short of a first down
late in the fourth quarter of a tie game. The Seahawks would have
been in position for a winning field goal with a first down, but
Alexander claimed he would have scored his third touchdown that day
had that key play's timing been right.
That would have gotten Seattle into its second consecutive NFC
Championship Game, despite Alexander's broken foot.
"I've got a good story to tell my kids. And an even greater
story when I have grandkids," he said, chuckling as usual.
"OK, [I] didn't get 1,500 yards or the 20 touchdowns I always
shoot for," said Alexander, who led Seattle into the Super Bowl
during the 2005 season as the league rushing leader with 1,880
yards and 28 scores, then a league record. "But I played the whole
year on a broken foot and almost had 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.
"I'm not complaining about that. A lot of teams would take 850
yards and seven touchdowns."
While the Seahawks wouldn't say back then -- or perhaps really
didn't want to know -- whether the crack in the foot had completely
mended, Alexander started both of Seattle's postseason games. He
ran 26 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns in that bitter loss
at Chicago that ended the Seahawks' season on Jan. 14.
"I think everyone was shocked when we X-rayed it after the
Bears game and it was still cracked," Alexander said. "I was
Yet Alexander, who signed a $62 million, eight-year contract
with $15.1 million guaranteed before last season, put away the bone
stimulation machine he had been using each night through Christmas.
Then he changed his offseason workout routine.
In his previous seven offseasons, the native of Florence, Ky.,
returned to where he starred at the University of Alabama to work
out with a personal trainer. This winter, Alexander stayed in the
Seattle area to train with the Seahawks' strength and conditioning staff.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.