Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette underwent surgery on his neck Monday after being injured in Sunday’s road victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
RENTON — Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette’s season is over after surgery Monday to repair ligament and disc injuries in his neck suffered Sunday during Seattle’s 13-12 victory at Dallas.
The rest of the news sounded hopeful, however. The Seahawks said in a statement that Lockette “will be up and moving around as early as tomorrow (Tuesday) and his neurological signs are all positive.’’
Lockette had surgery Monday afternoon at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, where he is expected to remain for a few more days to recover, the team said.
The surgery, the release said, was necessary due to “ligament damage in his neck that requires surgery to stabilize.’’
Coach Pete Carroll also referred to “disc issues,” though specific details of his injury were not revealed.
Carroll said he didn’t know if Lockette, 29 and in his fifth NFL season, would be able to play football again. But one doctor said his return could be possible depending on the nature of ligament injury.
Dr. Ty Thaiyanathan, neurosugeron and founder of Brain and Spine Institute of California, said there are “about a half-dozen’’ ligaments that “interplay and keep the neck stable’’ and connected to the head. He said if the injury is essentially a sprain “it could be nothing more than pain management’’ for a return. But he said the key would be determining if the injury in any way posed a risk to the spinal cord.
Among those who stayed with Lockette in Dallas were teammates Marshawn Lynch and Russell Okung. The team is off this week before returning Nov. 15 to meet Arizona at CenturyLink Field.
Lockette, regarded as one of Seattle’s best special teams players, was working in his trademark role as a gunner on the punt team when he was injured when he took a hard, head-on block by Dallas’ Jeff Heath late in the first half.
Lockette also suffered a concussion on the play, and fell motionless on the field, which Carroll said was the first concern. Lockette lay prone on the field for roughly 10 minutes before being strapped to a board, with his facemask removedand helmet left on, then raising a hand and finger to indicate he could move his extremities.
“The concussion first, and always the neck thing,’’ Carroll said. “They (medical personnel) were on that from the first moment. But he needed to wake up first. He was knocked out.”
After coming to, Lockette had the presence of mind to know not to move, Carroll said, and possibly do more damage to the neck.
Carroll said the mood of Lockette and his family was positive.
“I did talk to his dad (Earl) before surgery, and he’s in good spirits and all of that and ready to help him get right and turn the corner on his recovery and get him going,’’ Carroll said.
Shortly before heading into lengthy surgery, Lockette posted a message on Twitter: “Wanna thank my family, 12s, my teammates & coaches for all the support & prayers. Cant wait 2 get back with my teammates in Seattle. Go Hawks!’’
After the block by Heath, who was hit with a personal-foul penalty for a blindside hit, Seattle players immediately circled Lockette in support. Carroll said the incident led to “the most intense, emotional moment that we’ve had in years.’’
Quarterback Russell Wilson said he couldn’t remember a scarier time in any game.
“Just to see him go down like that, it’s a tough spot,’’ Wilson said. “You see what he gives every day and his heart and the passion that he brings to this team.’’
Carroll reiterated on Monday how impressed he was by the way some of the team’s leaders, such as Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett, got the Seahawks refocused during an emotional halftime.
“I think it’s like a family feeling, what happens when someone in your family gets sick,’’ Carroll said. “Our guys responded in that way. They were very focused to continue to play and the game and all of that, which we found out by the way they played in the second half, and today, they’re just concerned for him and his welfare.”
It’s anticipated Heath will be fined for the hit. The minimum for that penalty is $23,152.
Asked what he thought of the hit after seeing it on film, Carroll said: “It was just a high hit. … The league will figure that out.”
While some called the hit dirty, Dallas coach Jason Garrett on Monday defended Heath.
“He was playing hard, and he was trying obviously to hit him the right way,” Garrett said according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “They (officials) just didn’t see that.”
Garrett also defended himself from a charge by Bennett that he should have walked over to check on Lockette.
“I don’t know that it’s my role as the head coach of the opposing team to go over there and spend time with their player,’’ Garrett said. “We’re trying to keep our guys away as best we could, but trust me, if you’ve been around this league for any amount of time, your concern for a situation like that, regardless of how competitive the game is, is serious.”
Carroll said Monday the Seahawks had not heard from anyone in the Dallas organization.
Lockette has four receptions for 69 yards this season working as a reserve receiver.The team is likely to move Paul Richardson onto the 53-man roster to take the spot of Lockette, who will be put on Injured Reserve. Richardson practiced last week for the first time after being activated from the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list. But with the team on its bye this week, any roster moves may not happen until next week.