The wait is over for middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu. ...

The wait is over for middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu.

After suffering a torn pectoral muscle that required surgery in October and forced him to miss the last 11 games of the season, the veteran Seattle Seahawks linebacker watched impatiently from the sidelines in 2009, unable to help halt the string of losses his team suffered during a 5-11 campaign.

"It was tough being around and not being able to contribute," he said. "But as far as the record, we were not pleased with that. It’s tough to sit there and think that I could have at least impacted two or three of those games. And while 7-9 or 8-8 is not what you shoot for, it’s a better record."

Tatupu promises this year will be different. And it begins tonight, when he gets his first start of the season against Minnesota in Seattle’s third exhibition game.

Tatupu has been saddled with a string of nagging injuries that have hampered his production recently, including a broken thumb and a balky knee two years ago.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection has had lingering hamstring issues during this year’s training camp, so even though he practiced, trainers decided to hold him out against Green Bay last week. But Tatupu received the go-ahead for tonight’s game, and he will start with the first unit on defense.

Fantasy Impact: 

When healthy, Tatupu is a nice IDP player. Seattle's team defense doesn't have much to offer to fantasy owners.

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