“It’s hard to be fired up about this because a lot of guys got banged up today and I feel terrible about it.” — Pete Carroll
Richard Sherman’s season is over, but that doesn’t mean Seattle’s is — unless some of the seven other injuries they suffered Thursday are serious as well.
If the Seahawks didn’t already have enough problems — no running game, no first-half offense, too many penalties — they now can add another: Injuries.
They already were a band of walking wounded as they headed into the dreaded short-week clash with Arizona. Missing seven starters and coming in with at least 11 more players banged up, they took a bloodbath in the 22-16 win.
Sherman (torn Achilles) was lost for the season and seven other players were injured: Duane Brown (sprained ankle), Jarran Reed (hamstring), Frank Clark (thigh), Kam Chancellor (stinger), Michael Wilhoite (calf), C.J. Prosise (ankle) and Shaq Griffin (shoulder). Griffin returned after a short absence in the third quarter. Chancellor was injured late and carted to the locker room after the game. The Cardinals also lost three players, perhaps for the season.
It all led to the usual valid complaints about Thursday night football, with Doug Baldwin calling out the NFL: “Thursday night football should be illegal.”
The Seahawks have 10 days until their next game, at home against Atlanta on “Monday Night Football.” And they will need most of those guys if they are going to win that game — and any of the six that follow.
“Fortunately we get some days off,’’ Carroll said. “We are going to need it.’’
Here’s a look at the medical status of each position:
QB: Russell Wilson was told to get a concussion evaluation after a helmet-to-chin hit, but he ended up leaving the sideline without getting one. He said he was not injured — and he did not seem to be.
RB: Chris Carson and Tre Madden are both on IR, Eddie Lacy sat out this game with a groin injury, and C.J. Prosise — big surprise — suffered another ankle injury. “I can’t even fathom how that happened to this poor kid,” Carroll said. “He’s trying to play football and he just can’t stay out there.” Thomas Rawls did not get hurt, but he did not do much either. He did pop for a 23-yard run, his longest rush of the season, but he gained just four yards on his nine other carries. The call for Mike Davis to be bumped up from the practice squad has been getting louder, but the Hawks might be holding out until Week 13, when they could get a “free” year out of Davis and still own his rights in 2018.
WR: Doug Baldwin played with a hip injury suffered in pregame warmups and Paul Richardson had a tight groin. But both came up big. Richardson hauled in a 43-yard pass that set up a field goal and a 15-7 lead, and Baldwin was on the other end of Wilson’s magical scramble that resulted in a 54-yard pass play and the clinching TD.
TE: This is the only position that escaped unscathed. Jimmy Graham caught two more short TD passes, showing that Darrell Bevell and Wilson seem to have figured out how to use him in the red zone. He has six TD catches in the last five games.
OL: Brown, Seattle’s new left tackle, is the big concern here. If he can’t make it back for “MNF,” Matt Tobin will have to start — the Hawks put Rees Odhiambo (hands) on IR this week. That would be their fifth starting combo this season. Brown said he would be OK, but Carroll said it was too early to know. The Hawks also could get reinforcements soon; Luke Joeckel (knee surgery) should be back in the next couple of weeks. Whoever is playing, this crew needs to figure out how to run-block; their tailbacks gained just 56 yards on 18 runs in Arizona.
DL: This unit is full of walking wounded, yet still playing great. Just as Dion Jordan made his debut (and notched a sack, a tackle for loss and three QB hits), the Hawks lost Clark and Reed. They already were without Cliff Avril (neck/IR) and Marcus Smith (concussion), and Sheldon Richardson (oblique) and Michael Bennett (heel) were playing injured. The Seahawks have some pretty good depth here, with 10 players, and should be able to weather an injury or two — especially as Dwight Freeney and Nazair Jones continue to play great. They also have Branden Jackson, Garrison Smith and Quinton Jefferson. Hopefully the 10-day break between games will give Clark, Reed and the rest time to heal.
LB: The Hawks lost Dewey McDonald early in the season, and the oft-injured Wilhoite left this game. But the Hawks just need Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright to play as great as they did Thursday — and have all season.
CB: How ironic that Jeremy Lane is back in Seattle due to a failed physical and now looks to be a starter again because of an injury. He replaced Sherman vs. Arizona and held up well despite the thigh injury that apparently negated his end of the trade that brought Brown from Houston. Griffin’s shoulder was banged in the third quarter, but he returned. The Hawks also should get DeShawn Shead (ACL/PUP) back soon. He has to start practicing by Week 12 and be activated by Week 15 — or else sit out the rest of the season on IR. Some also think the Hawks might call former starter Byron Maxwell, who was recently waived by Miami. But the Hawks might prefer to bump one of their practice players, Akeem King or Mike Tyson, until Shead returns.
S: With any luck, the Hawks will have both Earl Thomas (hamstring) and Chancellor back for Atlanta. Thomas will mitigate the loss of Sherman, covering for the corners over the top. Looking on the bright side of the Sherman injury, the Hawks should get more opportunities for interceptions as QBs feel free to throw all over the field now. Chancellor played his best game of the season in Arizona, with a forced fumble, a safety and 10 tackles.