Holmgren says Branch unlikely to play Sunday

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said new receiver Deion Branch will likely remain on the sidelines for Sunday's game against Arizona at Qwest Field.

Holmgren said Branch should be prepared the following week. The coach told KIRO Radio the team will have to cut a player to make room on the roster for Branch.

The holdout ex-Patriot was traded to Seattle in return for a first-round draft pick and signed a six-year, $39 million contract Tuesday.

The Seahawks have a two-week roster exemption for Branch to get acclimated. Branch -- who said he is in top physical shape "because I had nothing else to do" -- will be at practice on Wednesday.

Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has already given Branch some plays to study in coach Mike Holmgren's intricate West Coast offense.

"I'm excited to be a part of being something that Seattle has going right now," Branch said Tuesday. "I hope everyone is not looking at me like, 'Hey, this guy is the next thing that's going to be [starring].'

"I'm just here to contribute to a major role ... I'm just a piece to the puzzle."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.