CLEVELAND — Amid the usual happy tumult of a wining locker room following Seattle’s 32-28 victory Sunday walked Will Dissly on crutches, his left foot in a boot.
Turning left out of the locker room, he then encountered Ciara, Russell Wilson’s wife, who stopped him to offer a minute or two of words of encouragement.
And then Dissly headed off down the hall into what will likely be yet another long rehab.
Dissly, a second-year tight end out of the University of Washington, suffered an Achilles injury while running untouched in the end zone in the second quarter Sunday and will likely miss the rest of the season.
Coach Pete Carroll called the injury “serious’’ and “devastating’’ and hesitated in ruling Dissly out for the season only because he said there are still some final tests to be made to confirm the initial diagnosis.
“It’s just unfortunate that he’s going to have to miss this deal here if the tests come through like we think they will,’’ Carroll said.
Dissly said he didn’t want to talk about the specifics of the injury but confirmed it was simply a fluke non-contact injury.
“Just running,’’ said Dissly, who had cut to try to catch a Wilson pass thrown his way. “I knew it wasn’t good.’’
He at least knows he can make it back through a long rehab, having had to go through a similar process last year when he suffered a patellar tendon injury to his right knee in a game at Arizona and missed the final 12 games.
He’d rebounded from that to emerge as one of the surprise players in the NFL this season with 23 receptions for a team-high four touchdowns in his first five games.
“It’s a big loss,’’ Carroll said. “He’s been playing great football. You saw him, he was running in the open field and it just happened like Achilles do. They come out of nowhere. So really a devastating injury for him for this season. But Will has done everything he can. He has been an unbelievable Seahawk.’’
Dissly has become particularly close with Wilson, whose initial happy demeanor during his postgame news conference changed noticeably when asked about Dissly.
Wilson spoke as if Dissly will indeed miss the season.
“It was tough today,’’ Wilson said. “That was tough on Will and tough on us and tough on me. I’ve developed such a great relationship with Will. I just wanted him to keep the faith. He’s had a tremendous year, and it’s tough because it’s back-to-back years and stuff. But I think that he’s still young, and if anybody is as tough as nails it’s him. There’s nobody tougher that I know, and he will come back stronger and we will support him and love him.’’
That appeared evident in Dissly’s interaction with Ciara and her children, one of whom offered Dissly a high-five as Dissly turned to head down the hall toward the bus.
A bystander then offered condolences and Dissly smiled and said, “It’s all good.’’
The injury will put a greater importance on veteran Ed Dickson to make it back in two weeks when he is eligible to come off injured reserve.
Dickson had knee surgery in August and can return after two more games, for the Nov. 3 home contest against Tampa Bay.
Seattle might try to get by the next two weeks with the two tight ends who finished out the game Sunday — Luke Willson and Jacob Hollister.
Hollister was promoted from the practice squad Friday as Seattle needed some depth knowing that offensive linemen Duane Brown and D.J. Fluker would be out, meaning George Fant — who plays often in tight end roles — had to play left tackle.