There was a time when Ricardo Lockette might have considered a game with one catch for 8 yards as something of a personal failure.
But not Sunday, a day when the receiver showed off his newfound love and aptitude for special teams.
Lockette, who played in just his fifth game of the season after being re-signed by Seattle on Oct. 22, made his biggest impact on the punt team Sunday in Seattle’s 27-9 win over the Rams that clinched the NFC West.
First, he leveled Rams returner Justin Veltung as Veltung caught the ball in the first quarter. The hit caused Veltung, a Puyallup High grad who was cut by the Seahawks prior to the season before catching on with the Rams, to leave the game due to concussion-like symptoms. In the third quarter, Lockette hammered replacement returner Austin Pettis at the end of a 32-yard return, forcing a fumble out of bounds.
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“It was fun,” said Lockette, who has played on special teams in earlier games but hadn’t made a tackle all season.
This is Lockette’s second stint with the Seahawks as he was also with the team throughout the 2011 season before being released before the 2012 campaign. He later was with the 49ers and Bears before being cut by Chicago and re-signed by Seattle, signed to the active roster after Sidney Rice was lost for the season.
Lockette also managed to stay out of the fray on punts and kickoffs, many of which featured lots of jawing and shoving after the whistle.
Asked what Seattle tried to do to get the Rams to lose their composure, Lockette smiled and said, “Just by talking to them. Being friendly. Telling them really sweet things.”
Playoff tickets on sale Tuesday
The Seahawks announced that a limited number of tickets for the divisional playoff game will go on sale Tuesday at 10 a.m.
The team said tickets will be available at Seahawks.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. All playoff tickets will be distributed via Ticketmaster’s TicketFast online printing.
Willson escapes significant injury
It looked bad for Seattle backup tight end Luke Willson when he was carted off the field with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter.
But while Willson may be sidelined for a while, it appears he escaped significant injury as coach Pete Carroll said the ankle was not broken. “That’s really good news,” he said. “He has a high-ankle sprain is what we think we know right now.”
• Running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for his most yards (97) in more than a month, but offensive tackle Russell Okung still wasn’t thrilled with the play of the offensive line. The Rams sacked quarterback Russell Wilson four times.
“We’ve got to clean up a lot of stuff,” Okung said.
The Seahawks have struggled to run the ball, and Wilson faced heavy pressure last week against Arizona.
• Nose tackle Brandon Mebane left with what Carroll said was a strained groin. But Carroll said, “It wasn’t bad, but he’ll be able to use this (off) week to get back.’’
• Seattle came into the game having allowed just 25 yards on punt returns, in reach of the NFL 16-game record of 49 set by Atlanta in 2008. But the Rams got 57 yards on five returns Sunday, pushing Seattle’s season total to 82.
• The end of the regular season also means Seattle’s list of opponents for 2014 is set. Seattle will host Dallas, the New York Giants, Denver, Oakland, Green Bay and the three NFC West teams, and will play at Philadelphia, Washington, Kansas City, San Diego, Carolina and the three NFC West teams.
Jayson Jenks and Joshua Mayers contributed to this story.