Some day, years from now, he may tell another team a story about Matt Hasselbeck, and how he came back to lead a 36-18 win over Arizona despite a left wrist injury.
More specific details on Hasselbeck’s injury are not forthcoming because neither Hasselbeck nor Carroll were exactly forthcoming, either, when asked to describe it.
He injured the wrist on the Hawks’ last offensive play of the first half, and did not come back out immediately after halftime. When he did, a cast was on his left wrist.
Carroll called it “a little crack.”
Hasselbeck joked his way around it afterward, saying he would let somebody else give the official diagnosis, and he would not budge when pressed on it.
“Yeah, my wrist hurts,” he said.
Carroll said that the injury “looks like one that is manageable; obviously, he went out and played. They X-rayed it and all that, and splinted him up and he was OK about playing and he did a marvelous job with it.”
With 333 passing yards and a passer rating of 106.6, it was one of Hasselbeck’s better games.
When he came back onto the field in the third quarter, he wasn’t sure he could take snaps and hand the ball off with his left hand. “I wasn’t sure if I could make it happen,” he said. “They worked with me a little bit with some of the play calls. I just felt like the guys, my teammates, just really stepped up and just made spectacular plays.”
Some of them were allowed to make big plays because Hasselbeck managed to find them with the ball. Deon Butler and Ben Obomanu had not been primary receivers most of the season, but both caught four passes, including a couple for big gains. And tight end Chris Baker, seldom used for anything other than blocking, pulled in one for 44 yards.
Hasselbeck said it was mostly a matter of an aggressive offensive approach, keeping the tempo up and spreading the field.
“It was just sort of the mindset that we had coming into it,” he said. “At the halfway point of the season, we evaluated what we’re good at, what we’re not good at ... it’s a learning process. I think the coaching staff just decided here is where we think we’d like to be as a team.”
Hasselbeck’s mindset, too, was important in his return to the game.
“I just wanted to get back out there because it’s so much fun,” he said. “You practice all week, you train all week, and I missed last week, which was really hard. I wanted to get back out there and help if I could.”
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 email@example.com