Shaun Alexander will be the NFC rushing champion this season, and will be the NFL's best if he holds off Edgerrin James of Indianapolis and Curtis Martin of the New York Jets on...
KIRKLAND — Shaun Alexander will be the NFC rushing champion this season, and will be the NFL’s best if he holds off Edgerrin James of Indianapolis and Curtis Martin of the New York Jets on Sunday.
Alexander’s 1,616 rushing yards give him a 66-yard advantage over James and a 72-yard lead over Martin heading into the final weekend of the season.
And Alexander may not be done with team records, either. After setting the club record for season rushing yards and total touchdowns (19) last week, he can tie Chris Warren’s record of eight 100-yard games with such an effort this week. His first two carries will send him past Curt Warner for most by a Seahawk in a season, 335.
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By the way, Alexander won NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his 30-carry, 154-yard, three-touchdown performance against Arizona.
The league rushing title, which would be the first by a Seahawk, plays second fiddle to clinching a division title.
“Right now, it’s just kind of cool,” Alexander said. “Not to take it away from anyone that has won it before, but it’s not like the No. 1 thing on my priority list.”
Coach Mike Holmgren said a rushing title would be special, but not just for Alexander.
“He came into this season, clearly, with a little different mindset,” Holmgren said. “Don’t get me wrong; he’s been good for us. But this year, he came in and he practiced as well as he’s practiced since we’ve been together. He’s played well, consistently, all season long. To win the rushing title, I’ve never had a back do that.”
And what would it mean to the offensive line?
“That would be a feather in their cap, no question about it,” Holmgren said.
Alexander gave his blockers iPods after last season for helping him reach contract incentives that boosted his salary. This year?
“It’s going to be fun looking for the rushing-title gift,” Alexander said. “A couple of guys asked for Ferraris. I don’t know if we’ll go that far, but that’s right around the limit.”
Taylor returns — sort of
Cornerback Bobby Taylor practiced for the first time since Nov. 12, though he was limited. Taylor, a major free-agent acquisition this past offseason, has missed the past six games with a right-knee injury and is questionable to play Sunday.
If Taylor can come back, he’ll provide postseason experience, if nothing else.
“Maybe, just maybe, and I have my fingers crossed, he can play down the stretch here,” Holmgren said.
Seven Seahawks did not practice and are all on the injury report for this week, though Holmgren said he hopes to have left tackle Walter Jones, strong safety Michael Boulware and fullback Mack Strong available to play.
Boulware and Strong aren’t likely to practice all week, but Jones could be back by tomorrow even though Jones is questionable and the two others probable.
Fullback Heath Evans is questionable with a sore left ankle. Wide receiver Darrell Jackson missed practice with a sore hamstring.
* Holmgren said that WR Koren Robinson will go back into the starting lineup this week. Robinson did not start last week after missing five games because of a four-game league suspension and a rule violation.
“That’s saying in so many words, ‘We need you to produce,’ ” Robinson said.
* QB Matt Hasselbeck practiced and threw yesterday and figures he’ll feel better as the week goes along. He’s probable for Sunday.
* The Seahawks signed OG Dustin Kroeker to the practice squad, releasing P Donnie Jones to make room. Kroeker, whom the Seahawks cut after this season’s training camp, practiced with the team yesterday.
* Holmgren encouraged those fans who want to send aid to tsunami victims in South Asia to donate to the Northwest Medical Teams Disaster Relief Fund. Fans can do so at the game Sunday.
Holmgren’s wife Kathy serves on the organization’s board of directors.
* Tickets are still available for Sunday’s game.
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or firstname.lastname@example.org