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Seattle running back Shaun Alexander learned during the offseason his left foot is still cracked. He played at Alabama.
AP photo by Elaine Thompson
Seattle running back Shaun Alexander learned during the offseason his left foot is still cracked. He played at Alabama.

Alexander's left foot still may be broken
Former Tide star says he'll
go for tests when camp ends

By Gregg Bell
Associated Press Writer

KIRKLAND, Wash. — Shaun Alexander might still have a broken foot, something he doesn't want confirmed just yet.

The Seattle Seahawks' star running back said Monday his left foot, broken for the final four months of last season, may still be cracked as he begins the 2007 preseason.

The 2005 NFL MVP and former Alabama running back doesn't want to know for sure until after his team's veteran minicamp ends Thursday.

"I don't even want to get another X-ray until after this camp," a smiling Alexander said after his fourth consecutive day of occasionally carrying
the ball during no-contact, no-pads drills. "If the X-ray shows it's still cracked, it's like, 'OK. What does that mean?' "

Last winter, it meant team doctors finally clearing him to play because they deemed remote the risk of completely breaking through a crack in the fourth metatarsal. He sat out seven weeks because of an injury that began as a severe bruise sustained when a Detroit Lions tackler fell on it during the season opener.

In his second game back, Alexander plowed through the snow for 201 yards on a Seattle-record 40 carries against Green Bay.

He averaged 112 yards per game during the final six weeks of the regular season, and finished the year with 896 yards rushing and seven touchdowns in 10 games.

In the NFC playoffs, a bobbled snap on fourth down in Chicago territory helped the Bears stop Alexander short of a first down late in the fourth quarter of a tie game. The Seahawks would have been in position for a winning field goal with a first down, but Alexander claimed he would have scored his third touchdown that day had that key play's timing been right.

That would have gotten Seattle into its second consecutive NFC championship game, despite Alexander's broken foot.

"I've got a good story to tell my kids. And an even greater story when I have grandkids," he said, chuckling as usual.

"OK, (I) didn't get 1,500 yards or the 20 touchdowns I always shoot for," said Alexander, who led Seattle into the Super Bowl during the 2005 season as the league rushing leader with 1,880 yards and 28 scores, then a league record. "But I played the whole year on a broken foot and almost had 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.

"I'm not complaining about that. A lot of teams would take 850 yards and seven touchdowns."

While the Seahawks wouldn't say back then — or perhaps really didn't want to know — whether the crack in the foot had completely mended, Alexander started both of Seattle's postseason games. He ran 26 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns in that bitter loss at Chicago that ended the Seahawks' season on Jan. 14.

"I think everyone was shocked when we X-rayed it after the Bears game and it was still cracked," Alexander said. "I was like, 'Uh-oh.' "

Yet Alexander, who signed a $62 million, eight-year contract with $15.1 million guaranteed before last season, put away the bone stimulation machine he had been using each night through Christmas. Then he changed his offseason workout routine.

In his previous seven offseasons, the native of Florence, Ky., returned toTuscaloosa to work out with a personal trainer. This winter, Alexander stayed in the Seattle area to train with the Seahawks' strength and conditioning staff.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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