Broken fingers plagued QB


KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) – Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck revealed Monday that he played the final eight games of Seattle’s season with broken fingers on his non-passing hand.

Hasselbeck said he sustained non-displaced fractures of two fingers on his left hand during a win against Green Bay on Nov. 27. That was his first game back following a four-week absence from a sprained knee.

Earlier this month, Seahawks offensive coordinator Gil Haskell acknowledged that Hasselbeck’s hand bothered him on snaps and when he’s hit.

On Sunday against the Bears, Hasselbeck was hit from behind following a throw early in the game and held his hand while in obvious pain. On fourth-and-1 with Seattle in Chicago territory and two minutes left in regulation, Hasselbeck bobbled the snap.

That ruined the timing on Shaun Alexander’s run, resulting in a 2-yard loss and leading to overtime.

Coach Mike Holmgren said the hand injury wasn’t the reason Hasselbeck bobbled the snap. The center snapped the ball late.

“I love Chris Spencer … (but) he held the ball and everyone else moved,” Holmgren said. “It was like, “On one.’ And he snapped it on ‘two.’

“Actually, we could have been called for a procedure penalty. Of all the times I’ve moaned about calls that they’ve made against us, I wish they would have made that call.”

Hasselbeck finished the season with 18 interceptions in 14 games, after throwing just nine in 16 games last season – which ended with the eight-year veteran starting the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl.

He played the final seven weeks of this season with a glove over a compression wrap and later tape on his left hand. He and the Seahawks remained coy on whether the hand was bruised or broken, and whether it bothered him during games.

But Monday, Holmgren said he thought the injuries were part of Hasselbeck’s inconsistency.

“I think that was part of it,” he said.

AP-ES-01-15-07 1834EST