Russell Wilson dazzles, but Richard Sherman among many injuries in Seahawks’ 22-10 victory.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — One jaw-dropping play by Russell Wilson helped salvage a night that figures to be more remembered for Richard Sherman’s resigned headshake as he left the field midway through the third quarter, understanding immediately that he had suffered a season-ending ruptured Achilles injury.
“I knew what was happening,’’ Sherman said as he met the media after Seattle’s 22-16 win over Arizona, a news conference he entered on crutches with his right foot in a boot. “It’s been bothering me all season, so it’s one of those things you just have to play through it as long as you can, and when it goes it goes.’’
Sherman, who has been named to four straight Pro Bowls and made his 99th straight start Thursday, a streak dating to the sixth game of his rookie season, was hurt when trying to make a break on a pass to Arizona’s John Brown with 5:20 to play in the third quarter.
Sherman said he thought he had a chance to make an interception and heard the Achilles pop as he made a cut.
The injury, he said, began in a win over the Rams on Oct 8. He said since then he had avoided making drastic cuts on the ball knowing that at any moment it could pop.
Sherman broke down in tears near the end of his news conference, saying that “I’ve just got to stay positive’’ as he now enters the prospect of surgery and then a lengthy rehab to get back.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll appeared drained as he met the media, having spent lengthy time in the locker room talking to the many players injured in the game.
“Its hard to be fired up about this because a lot of guys got banged up today and I feel terrible about it,’’ he said. “But they just kept fighting and clawing and scratching.’’
Sherman was right with them, staying on the sideline and cheering the defense as it got enough stops at the end to hold on.
“Unbelievable,’’ Carroll said. “He was coaching up guys. He couldn’t even walk. He’s an extraordinary competitor and an extraordinary person. Amazing.’’
The list of the wounded included safety Kam Chancellor (stinger), left tackle Duane Brown (ankle), defensive tackle Jarran Reed (hamstring), running back C.J. Prosise (ankle), linebacker Michael Wilhoite (calf) and defensive end Frank Clark (thigh).
Clark was injured on a play that maybe most typified the night as he collided with teammate Sheldon Richardson when each was chasing Arizona quarterback Drew Stanton with 9:12 left, each needing to be helped off the field (though Richardson quickly returned).
Carroll said it was unclear if any of the injuries besides Sherman’s were serious — he said Brown thought he would be OK but Carroll said the team would need to wait a few days to know for sure.
That all the injuries happened on a Thursday night didn’t strike any of the players as a coincidence.
Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin said the game was “exhibit A, exhibit B, exhibit, C, exhibit D, exhibit Z’’ of all that is wrong about players having to play on a Thursday following a Sunday. “Thursday night football should be illegal.’’
Even Wilson was briefly shaken up, leaving for a play in the third quarter when he took a hard hit to the jaw — but he returned after one play.
He then turned in the one play Seattle needed to fully put away an Arizona team that had little real offense to throw at the Seahawks.
With Seattle ahead 15-10 and facing second and 21 from its own 41, Wilson initially faked a handoff to J.D. McKissic then rolled left.
As he did he felt pressure from two Arizona defenders, including linebacker Chandler Jones.
Drifting back to his own 28 Wilson threw a pass in the direction of Baldwin, who had ran to an open spot near the Arizona sideline after initially blocking for Wilson.
Baldwin leapt and caught the ball over Arizona safety Antoine Bethea and then sprinted down the sideline, finally caught at the 2-yard line by former Bellevue High and UW star Budda Baker.
“Tremendous play between Doug and Russ, and I can’t wait to see it again,’’ Carroll said. “Seemed like it took forever. Fantastic execution and chemistry between those two guys got that done.’’
Baldwin, who said he strained his quad in warmups and felt it worsen during the game, said the dizzying events of the game left it hard for him to even remember exactly what happened
“Just wait for him to throw the ball up and make a play,’’ Baldwin said.
Wilson then tossed a 2-yard TD pass to Jimmy Graham on the next play and put the Seahawks up 22-10 with 12:49 to play. The TD was the second of the night for Graham and sixth of the season, tying his most as a Seahawk.
The Seahawks led 15-7 at the end of another inartful half of football.
Seattle had eight penalties for 81 yards, with four contributing to Arizona’s only scoring drive, a nine-play, 75-yard march in which Seahawks flags accounted for 41 yards.
That score, a 14-yard pass from Stanton to Jermaine Gresham, tied the score at 7 early in the second quarter.
Seattle had taken a 7-0 lead on a 6-yard pass from Wilson to Graham that capped a 51-yard, nine-play drive.
Seattle added two more field goals in the second quarter by Blair Walsh — kicks of 33 yards with 1:52 to play and then 43 yards with two seconds left. Walsh missed three field goals in Sunday’s 17-14 loss to Washington but had no trouble in the controlled conditions of University of Phoenix Stadium (the roof was open but no wind detected).
Seattle improves to 6-3 and has won five of its last six games following a 1-2 start.
Maybe most importantly the Seahawks now get something of a mini-bye as they won’t play again until hosting Atlanta on Nov. 20, a Monday night.
The Seahawks might need all of that time to put their team back together.
“Fortunately we get some days off,’’ Carroll said. “We are going to need it.’’
Watch | Richard Sherman discusses Achilles injury postgame
|The Seahawks committed 12 penalties Thursday and have been in double figures for the past four games.|