Former Boston College standout Matt Hasselbeck is back to practicing. Playing in preseason games can wait.
The Seahawks' Pro Bowl quarterback returned to drills yesterday for the first time since his back stiffened six days ago, but he doesn't expect to play in tomorrow's exhibition game against Chicago.
Hasselbeck, who felt his back tighten after playing the first two series of last week's preseason opener at Minnesota, only did individual drills.
Coach Mike Holmgren downplayed Hasselbeck's injury.
"He's close. It's more of an irritation now than an injury, I would say. So we're just going to play that one a little easy," Holmgren said. "But it's nothing."
Burress stepping upPlaxico Burress
expects to be on the field for the New York Giants' season opener Sept. 4 against Washington - bum ankle, flat feet, and all.
Burress, who caught the Super Bowl-winning pass in the stunning upset of the previously unbeaten Patriots, said he is basically learning how to run again at 31 with the aid of orthotics.
Saints' Thomas out
New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Hollis Thomas
could be out two months with a right triceps injury, all but ensuring that top draft pick Sedrick Ellis
will be thrust into a major role on the interior of the defensive line this season . . . Dallas Cowboys nickel linebacker Kevin Burnett
will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee today, two days after spraining the knee in 11-on-11 drills against Denver . . . Tennessee Titans starting right tackle David Stewart
underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and will be sidelined two to three weeks.
Bills' Edwards shines
Shaking off a sluggish performance in the Bills' preseason opener last week, quarterback Trent Edwards
was near-perfect in two series, going 9 for 11 for 104 yards and two touchdowns, in Buffalo's 24-21 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last night in Toronto . . . The Panthers' Jake Delhomme
was 9 of 14 for 54 yards in his first real action since ligament-replacement surgery in October, but Tony Hunt's
51-yard touchdown run with 2:15 left led host Philadelphia to a 24-13 victory over Carolina.
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