Seahawk starting left tackle George Fant suffered a potentially serious knee injury in Friday's preseason game against the Vikings.
The Seahawks suffered one potentially serious injury in the first half of Friday’s preseason game against the Vikings when left tackle George Fant was carted off the field with his right knee in an air cast.
The team announced after the game Fant will require surgery for an ACL injury and miss the 2017 season.
“Really broken hearted,” said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.
Fant was injured on a play midway through the second quarter when quarterback Russell Wilson completed a nine-yard slant pass to tight end Marcus Lucas.
Fant was engaged with Minnesota defensive end Tashawn Bower when teammate Justin Britt, who was helping teammate Luke Joeckel with a block,, rolled into the back of Fant’s leg.
Fant went down quickly with teammates signaling to trainers. An air cast was then placed on his knee and Fant was carted off with Fant receiving sympathetic fists bumps from some teammates.
“It didn’t sound good, it didn’t look good,” said Joeckel. “It was tough to see. He’s going to be in my prayers. He is going to be in my family’s prayers. You never want to see that out on the field.”
Fant, in his second season, has emerged as the front-runner for the left tackle spot with coaches raving about his weight gain — roughly 25 pounds — and improved football sense after having spent most of his college career at Western Kentucky playing basketball. Fant started 10 games at left tackle last season as a rookie when injuries hit other players but this year appeared to be earning the job with his own play.
“He has worked so hard,” Wilson said. “He has done everything he could to prepare at the highest level this whole offseason.”
Second-year player Rees Odhiambo replaced Fant at left tackle for the rest of the first half.
But the Seahawks could also look to veteran free agent Luke Joeckel to play left tackle as well. Joeckel has been playing left guard and stayed at that spot in the first half after Fant was injured.
Offensive line coach Tom Cable earlier this week talked about his happiness with Fant’s progress this preseason.
“Just like you would hope that was a, really didn’t get to talk about it, that’s probably my biggest question going in is how would all this fit now?,” Cable said. “What would it feel like to him? How would be able to display it? And it was really exciting to see what came of what he’s done in terms of his learning curve and his training and all those things.”
Head coach Pete Carroll on Thursday had essentially named Fant and Joeckel as the starting left side of the line for the regular season.
“Luke Joeckel is going to start at left guard,” Carroll said. “George is starting at left tackle and we think that that’s a really good combination there at the left side. I feel really good about that right there, going into the next game. We are always growing with information, but I see Luke as our starting left guard and I see George as our starting left tackle right now.”
Wilson said he talked briefly to Fant after the injury.
“I talked to George in the training room about him just being upbeat and continuing to learn everything he can learn even though he is going to be out for a bit here,” Wilson said. “We don’t know exactly what is going on but he wants to continue to learn the game and that is key.”