KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) – The Seattle Seahawks’ charter plane made an unscheduled stop late Sunday night to get medical care for Ray Rhodes, a special defensive assistant and former NFL head coach.

The team said upon its return Monday from a 37-6 loss at Chicago that the stop in Rapid City, S.D., for Rhodes was “precautionary” and was done on the advice of team physicians on board.

Rhodes flew back to Seattle on a commercial jet Monday, about half a day behind the team.

The exact nature of Rhodes’ situation was not immediately disclosed. The former Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles coach, who turns 56 this month, had a stroke in September 2005.

He then had what the team called a second “strokelike episode” on Nov. 4 and was hospitalized overnight. He was Seattle’s defensive coordinator at the time, but John Marshall took over Rhodes’ game-day duties in the wake of last fall’s incidents.

Rhodes finished last season on a limited schedule. Coach Mike Holmgren said last winter – half-jokingly – that he chased the notoriously intense Rhodes out of team headquarters at 5 p.m. each day.

This season, Marshall has been the team’s defensive coordinator while Rhodes has the title of “special projects, defense.” The 26-year coaching veteran and Marshall develop game plans and study opposing offenses during the week. On game days, they both coach from the press box, and players still say the Seahawks’ defense is Rhodes’ creation.

AP-ES-10-02-06 1815EDT



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