SAN FRANCISCO — As K.J. Wright got word of what his injury might be, the reality of what it could mean also began to sink in.
Wright, Seattle’s starting weakside linebacker, suffered a broken bone in his foot in the second quarter, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said it “looks like a six-week-type injury.”
Seattle has already clinched a playoff berth, and despite a 19-17 loss to the 49ers Sunday remains in good shape to get a first-round bye. Still, the diagnosis puts Wright at risk of not being available at the start of the playoffs.
Wright’s frustration at being injured at a crucial time of the season was visible as he flipped his helmet to the ground and angrily waved his arms as he began to walk to the locker room.
Most Read Stories
“He was really upset about that,” said Carroll of Wright, who is Seattle’s third-leading tackler and was coming off one of the best games of his career Monday night against the Saints.
As Wright left the locker room, he said he intended to play again this season.
He was replaced for the rest of the game by Malcolm Smith, who also played that spot for two games earlier in the season when Wright moved to middle linebacker in place of an injured Bobby Wagner. Smith will almost certainly now start for Wright the rest of the regular season.
Seattle suffered two other injuries as center Max Unger left in the second half with a pectoral strain, and backup safety Jeron Johnson pulled his hamstring. Carroll did not say how long either might be out.
Rookie Luke Willson, a fifth round pick out of Rice, had already accomplished his most important goal of the season, becoming a regular contributor to Seattle’s offense.
Still, he said, the fact that he had yet to get into the end zone was beginning to be noticed by his teammates.
“I’ve been catching a little heat for not having a touchdown yet,” Willson said.
That changed in the second quarter Sunday when Willson broke off the line and then cut right, getting past 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis and into the open. He then caught a pass from Russell Wilson and shook off one tackle to complete a 39-yard scoring play.
Once in the end zone, he let out a loud and emphatic roar.
“I had that one saved up,” he said.
Willson said on the play he had an option to either run deep or across the field.
“It was just a play-action and they bit pretty hard on it,’’ he said. “I saw a lot of green grass.”
Willson finished with three catches for a team-high 70 yards.
Missed block leads to punt block
Seattle has had two blocked punts this season, and both have come against the 49ers.
Sunday, San Francisco’s Kassim Osgood blocked a Jon Ryan punt in the first quarter to set up a field goal that gave the 49ers a 6-0 lead.
“We just missed a block,” Carroll said. “A routine fit on a block, we just didn’t do it right.”
In a 29-3 win over the 49ers in Week 2, Seattle also had a punt blocked early. On that one, though, some of the Seahawks thought they heard a whistle and weren’t ready for the snap.
“Last time we played these guys was a fluke because a whistle blew,” Carroll said. “But this one was a legit block by them. They got it done and we just missed a block.”
Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell hauled in his first career interception in the third quarter in his second career start.
But Maxwell, starting in place of the injured Brandon Browner and suspended Walter Thurmond, understood it wasn’t by chance that San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick looked his way.
“I just know that I’m unproven,” Maxwell said. “Everybody in the secondary is pretty much Pro Bowlers. I’m the only unproven one out there, so they’re going to come after me. It’s an opportunity. I’m just trying to take advantage of it.”
Maxwell did just that on a jump ball with Michael Crabtree down the sideline near the end zone, holding off Crabtree to make the play.
Jeremy Lane, another backup forced into more duty, had his best game of the season and nearly intercepted a couple of passes.
• Seattle was held to 86 yards rushing on 23 attempts, its third-lowest total of the season. But that wasn’t necessarily a surprise as the 49ers entered the game not having allowed a 100-yard rusher all season and allowing 105 per game. “I thought we felt OK about the line of scrimmage,” Carroll said. “Not great. .. not maybe as good as it has been in other games against these guys.’’
• A report from CBSSports.com Sunday said a decision on an appeal by Browner of a proposed suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy might not come until late December. Browner did not play Sunday, missing his third straight game with a groin injury.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @bcondotta.