Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will not play on Sunday against the Giants because of lingering effects of a “slight” concussion suffered last week against the Raiders. Instead, Charlie Whitehurst will make his first NFL start against a Giants defense that has already knocked five quarterbacks out of games this season.
“Disappointed for Matt but this is best for his health,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll tweeted this afternoon following the announcement. “We're really looking forward to seeing Charlie go to work!”
The Seahawks have been looking forward to it for some time. They traded a third-round pick for the 28-year-old restricted free agent this offseason and then gave Whitehurst a two-year, $8 million contract. Whitehurst hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since his rookie year in 2006 with the Chargers and has never thrown a pass in the league.
The Giants were figuring on playing against Hasselbeck right up to the announcement this afternoon. Justin Tuck told reporters that he was sure Hasselbeck would play and Osi Umenyiora noted that Hasselbeck is a veteran and would not be intimidated by the team's knack for whacking quarterbacks.
But defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said he hoped that confidence would not be the case.
"We want to command respect from the opponents that we play and we're going to put our best game forward," Fewell said. "If he;s back there, then we want to make him nervous. f that next guy is back there, we want to make that next guy nervous."