CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Seahawks, who entered the game Sunday without four defensive starters because of injuries or illness, saw two more leave during the 30-24 victory at Carolina, each to sprained ankles — middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and free safety Quandre Diggs.
Of the two, coach Pete Carroll said the injury to Diggs — who left late in the second quarter — appeared to be more severe.
“(Diggs) looks a little more serious than Bobby did,” Carroll said. “We’ll see. That would be a big loss if we can’t get him to get back next week. He has been playing great football for us.”
Wagner was hurt with 7 minutes, 2 seconds remaining and was down on the field for a time and then limped off. Then, after being examined on the sideline, he was forced to watch the rest of the game because doctors did not clear him to return.
Both Carroll and Wagner seemed to indicate the linebacker’s injury wasn’t that serious, but each also was a little vague.
“I’m doing fine, I’m good,” said Wagner while holding his usual postgame podium news conference, which he might not have done had the injury been severe.
“I definitely was scared. But I’m good.”
Carroll would not commit to Wagner being able to play next week, saying only he wasn’t cleared to return for the end of the game Sunday.
“He sprained his ankle a little bit,” Carroll said. “I don’t know how bad it was. He was pretty good getting off the field today.”
Wagner was injured when he was hit by Carolina receiver Jarius Wright.
“I felt like I thought he slipped a little bit, but then he like hit me on my side, on my back, and my leg kind of got caught under me,” Wagner said. “But I’ll be fine.”
Wagner watched as the Panthers drove 84 yards in seven plays for a touchdown that made it 30-24 with 3:14 left before Seattle was able to run out the clock.
He was replaced by rookie Cody Barton, who moved to the middle from strongside linebacker, with Shaqueem Griffin playing on the strong side and K.J. Wright playing weakside linebacker. Wright also had to leave for a couple of plays with former University of Washington star Ben Burr-Kirven playing the weakside spot while he was out.
“It was tough,” Wagner said of being on the sideline. “You see the offense driving them down the field and putting points up and so it’s hard (not to be out there). It’s really not a position I’m used to. But I tried to listen to the doctors and I know they have my best interest.”
Diggs left the locker room wearing a boot on his ankle.
He was replaced by Lano Hill, who paired with Bradley McDougald at safety in the second half, though Marquise Blair also got a few snaps when Hill left the game for a few plays.