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Originally published October 8, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified October 8, 2007 at 11:31 PM

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Strong's career is over

Fullback Mack Strong suffered an injury to a vertebrae in his neck during Sunday's game at Pittsburgh, which will end Strong's season...

Seattle Times staff reporter

KIRKLAND -- Fullback Mack Strong suffered an injury to a vertebrae in his neck during Sunday's game at Pittsburgh, which will end Strong's season and his football career after his 15 seasons with the Seahawks.

"There's a lot more to life than football," Strong said. "I've got a wife and two kids."

He paused for more than 10 seconds.

"And there's nothing more important," Strong said.

Strong is one of the Seahawks' six co-captains and he said he will remain involved with the team. His season and his NFL career is over after suffering what doctors told him was a herniated disk that pinched his spinal cord.

Strong said he had stiffness and burning in his shoulder when he woke up on Sunday, and after a hit in the first half he experienced numbness in his hands and legs.

"He felt a little tingling after one of the early plays in his hand," Holmgren said. "He came out, then said he was OK, went back in. He had a little bit more of an episode in both of his arms."

Leonard Weaver will take Strong's place at fullback.

Wide receiver Deion Branch is expected to miss the next two games after suffering a midfoot sprain in the first half of Sunday's game in Pittsburgh. Holmgren said the hope is Branch can return after the bye week.

D.J. Hackett has been out since the season-opener with a high ankle sprain, and Holmgren said the hope is he will be available for the Oct. 21 game against St. Louis.

Branch did not catch a pass in the season-opener against Tampa Bay, but he caught 20 passes the next three games for 329 yards.

Branch has not missed a game because of injury since 2004 when he missed seven games because of a knee injury. Branch played 14 games for Seattle last season after arriving in a trade in Week 2.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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