Posted on November 10, 2017, by Travis Pulver
The Seattle Seahawks needed a win over the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football in order to keep up with the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West– and they got it. It ended up being a much harder fight than anticipated. But in the end, the Seahawks ended the game on the right side of the scoreboard, 22-16.
However, in the long run, what they lost during the game could prove to be much more valuable than the victory.
Neither the offense or defense in Seattle has looked as good as fans have grown accustomed to this season. The same protection and run game issues that plagued the team last year are doing so again this season. While the defense hasn’t quite lived up to its ‘Legion of Boom’ nickname, when it matters most, they make the plays they need to make.
They do so, in large part, because of the veteran talent and leadership on the roster. During the second half Thursday night, they ended up losing a key veteran for the remainder of the season—cornerback Richard Sherman.
The play in question occurred in the third quarter. Sherman went for the interception, which he missed, and when he hit the ground immediately clutched his foot. After leaving the game he could be seen limping around on the sideline getting hugs from his teammates. He appeared to be saying that he had injured his Achilles tendon.
“I thought I could get the ball. Once it popped, just unfortunate,” Sherman told reporters after the game (ESPN). “One of those things that you have to play through for as long as you can. When it goes, it goes.
Sherman went on to say that his Achilles tendon had been tender, and he had been taking it easy in practice.
After the game, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll talked about Sherman and his injury, which he confirmed was a ruptured Achilles tendon (ESPN):
“No coming back from that until you get surgery. He’s been a bastion of consistency, competitiveness, and toughness. We’re going to miss the heck out of him.”
Sherman’s injury will not be the only one the team has to deal with going forward. Newly acquired offensive tackle Duane Brown left the game in the second quarter with a sprained ankle. C.J. Prosise left the game after injuring his ankle. A hamstring injury knocked defensive tackle Jarran Reed out of the game. Sheldon Richardson and Frank Clark ended up leaving the game late in the fourth quarter after running into each other.
“It’s hard to be fired up about this because a lot of guys got banged up today,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said (ESPN). “I just feel terrible about it, but they just kept fighting, clawing and scratching. It is what it is.”
Seattle will likely come under scrutiny for how they appeared to handle a possible injury to Russell Wilson. Wilson went to the sideline as instructed by the ref to get checked for a concussion. He took a seat, but reentered the game after one play and before medical personnel could check him out. Medical personnel did not check him out until he returned to the sideline.
Arizona gave a much better fight than expected in their second game with Drew Stanton at quarterback. Overall, Stanton did not play a bad game (24-47 for 256 and a touchdown). But he certainly didn’t play a great one. It didn’t help that the offensive line struggled to open lanes for the running game or that Adrian Peterson struggled to find them (21 carries for 29 yards).
Losing Sherman is going to hurt, but the Seahawks playoff hopes are already doomed because they can’t run the ball. They didn’t have a run game last year and still made the playoffs, and they will this year as well. But their defense was able to cover for the lack of a run game. Without Sherman, it is not going to be as easy to do.
It will be interesting to see how they handle Matt Ryan and the Falcons next week on Monday Night Football.
As for the Cardinals, with all the injuries they’ve endured, they can’t be expecting to make the playoffs this year. But at 4-5, they could make a push for one of the NFC’s wildcard spots. However, if they are going to have a shot, Stanton will need to continue playing as well as he has been. More importantly, they need Adrian Peterson and the run game to be more consistent.
They will face the injury-riddled Texans next week in Houston.