Houser has lung re-inflated

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks long snapper Kevin Houser is hoping to be out of the hospital in time for Christmas Eve after doctors re-inflated his collapsed lung.

Seattle coach Jim Mora said the 32-year-old veteran of 10 seasons was sitting up in his hospital room Monday and watching "Ren and Stimpy" cartoons with his wife and kids.

"He's doing much, much better," Mora said.

Houser got hurt while covering a punt in the second quarter Sunday against Tampa Bay.

The Seahawks' only true kick snapper then went into a photographer's shed on the sideline to get a painkilling injection. He returned to snap for Seattle's only extra point later in the half.

Midway through the third quarter, Houser ran at Tampa Bay's Sammie Stroughter at the end of a 33-yard punt return and collapsed in pain on the sideline.

"Kevin, he was hurting," Mora said, sighing and shaking his head. "He was doing everything he could trying to stay in the game.

"I feel bad because of that effort and his desire to be an impacting guy on our team that he's in the hospital now. But he's feeling better. We just hope he's home for Christmas Eve."

Mora said Houser is likely going on injured reserve. The team is trying to bring back veteran Jeff Robinson, who is currently out of football after playing for Seattle for parts of the 2007 and '08 seasons.

So much for little cornerback Kelly Jennings' cameo as a kick snapper.

Houser's injury highlighted another problem with the roster for the lowly Seahawks (5-9), who lost at home to the previously 1-12 Buccaneers on Sunday. Seattle had to hold an impromptu tryout on the sideline, trying fullback Owen Schmitt and linebacker Will Herring on practice snaps before settling on Jennings to snap for a punt late in the third quarter.

Mora said it was so dire he considered going for all fourth downs -- until special-teams coach Bruce DeHaven convinced him Jennings could get the ball back to punter Jon Ryan on a fourth-and-13.

"How'd you like Kelly Jennings long snapping?" Mora said after the game. "Goodness sakes. It is exasperation to believe that we could actually be at the point where our backup right corner is long snapping for us. I say to myself, 'How did this happen?'

"He's 172 pounds dripping wet."