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Seahawks QB Hasselbeck has fractured rib; status uncertain

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seahawks are preparing to play without Matt Hasselbeck on Sunday against the Chicago Bears, though the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback is hoping to start despite a broken rib.

Seattle coach Jim Mora confirmed Monday that Hasselbeck has a fractured rib from a hard hit in the back by 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis while the quarterback dived for the goal line late in the first half of San Francisco's 23-10 win on Sunday.

Asked if he had to plan to face the Bears without Hasselbeck, Mora said, "Right now, we'll probably do that -- unless we get word otherwise."

Mora did say Hasselbeck "seems to be doing a lot better today."

Backup Seneca Wallace, who started eight games last season when Hasselbeck was out with a bulging disk in his back, would make his 13th career start if Hasselbeck can't go. Wallace completed 15 of 23 passes for 127 yards with a touchdown and interception while finishing Sunday's loss.

Hasselbeck, who turns 34 on Friday, said the fracture is on the back of a top rib and that the pain is near the shoulder. He said he broke a rib once before while with the Seahawks and played the next game. He didn't specify when.

"I have definitely felt worse. I have definitely woken up on a Monday and felt worse," Hasselbeck said Monday in an empty locker room, standing stiffly with his hands on his hips.

"I'm absolutely hoping to play. ... I think it's one of things you just got to suck it up."

Hasselbeck struggled toward the sideline after Willis' hit, making it look as if he was loopy. He said he was lightheaded because he couldn't breathe. He took a trainer's advice to go to the ground before leaving the field, while Wallace scrambled to enter the game.

An X-ray at the stadium was negative. The Seahawks then had him rushed to Stanford Medical Center, because they feared blood in his urine or internal injuries such as a damaged lung. He underwent an electrocardiogram test and a CT scan. The scan showed the fractured rib.

"Never had to go to the hospital during a game. That was different," he said.

Hasselbeck said he wasn't breathing more easily until he took medication just before rejoining the team for its two-hour flight home Sunday evening.

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