RENTON — While Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday he did not yet have a specific update on the injury to running back Rashaad Penny, he also said “we are going to miss him the rest of the season.’’
So, consider that a confirmation of the worst-case scenario for Penny, who was injured on the first series of Seattle’s 28-12 defeat against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night.
Carroll said after the game that Penny had a sprained ACL. A league source confirmed a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Monday that Penny tore his ACL.
Penny was injured on Seattle’s fifth offensive play of the game after catching a short pass in the flat and then turning upfield and gaining 16 yards before being tackled by former University of Washington star Taylor Rapp.
Penny slammed the turf in frustration as he rolled over. After being examined on the bench and then in the observation tent, he walked off the field with a noticeable limp.
Carroll said he had no update from Penny’s MRIs, but “doctors could tell he had a significant knee injury.’’
Penny was coming off the best two-game stretch of his career, with 129 and 74 yards and a combined three touchdowns in his past two games, giving Seattle a potent 1-2 punch at tailback along with Chris Carson.
“He has had a big impact the last few weeks and we’ve really liked his contribution,’’ Carroll said. “Unfortunately we missed him (the rest of the game) and we’re going to miss him the rest of the season.’’
Monday, Penny posted on Instagram: “Just a hurdle to jump over. God never makes any mistakes. Appreciate the love this season through the ups and downs. Still a lot left to play for. Positive vibes.”
Penny, Seattle’s first choice in the 2018 draft, has battled injuries and has been inactive due to injury for five games in his career.
But he added some big-play ability, scoring on a 58-yard touchdown run against the Eagles and also a 13-yard pass against the Vikings.
“A guy like that, you just don’t replace it,’’ Carroll said. “And you go to the next guy and he brings what he has.’’
The “next guys’’ would be mercurial fourth-year vet C.J. Prosise and rookie Travis Homer, the only two tailbacks on the roster besides Carson and Penny.
Prosise stepped in for Penny after he was injured Sunday but had only one carry for 2 yards and did not have a carry after a play late in the second quarter when the Seahawks fumbled the ball when Wilson tried to hand it off to Prosise on a zone read.
Prosise, though, has shown some tantalizing flashes throughout his career after being taken with the 90th overall selections in the 2016 draft.
He had a career-high 76 yards to spark a victory at New England in 2016 and the next week had a 72-yard run for a touchdown against the Eagles.
Prosise had been inactive for the five games before the Rams game, due solely to roster construction and not injuries, before being active Sunday night.
“We’re going to count on him to really pick up where Rashaad left off,’’ Carroll said Monday.
“He’s got his own style to him,’’ Carroll said. “He’s big, he’s over 220 pounds (officially listed at 225) and he’s fast and C.J. has the background as a receiver that makes him a little bit of a different type of threat when he’s in the game plan.’’
Here are a few other injury updates from Carroll:
• Linebacker K.J. Wright suffered a dislocated finger but he came back in the game, so the injury isn’t considered significant. Wright played 65 of a possible 70 snaps.
• Rookie Cody Barton, who stepped in as the starting strongside linebacker with Mychal Kendricks sidelined with a hamstring injury, had MRIs on an ankle and a knee Monday. He left the game early in the fourth quarter before returning. Carroll said the knee was the more significant of the two injuries but noted that Barton “got back in there. He just overcame it.’’ Barton played 58 of a possible 70 snaps. Still, the MRIs mean there’s a chance he could have a significant injury. Carroll said after the game he didn’t know if Kendricks would make it back for the game Sunday at Carolina.
• Carroll said he expects defensive end Ziggy Ansah to return to practice this week “because he practiced last week.’’ Ansah practicing last week meant he had a chance to play against the Rams, but he ended up inactive, missing his fourth game of the season. Carroll said Ansah just didn’t have the strength he needed in his shoulder and that he’ll have to show he has that strength by the end of this week to be cleared to play against the Panthers. With Ansah out, 2019 first-round draft choice L.J. Collier was active, but Collier played only nine snaps and did not record a statistic.
• Carroll said defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is “hurting’’ as he attempts to play through a core muscle injury suffered in his breakthrough game against the 49ers last month. Clowney did not play against the Eagles after having been treated for a sports hernia-type condition, but played against the Vikings and then against the Rams, on the field for 41 of a possible 70 defensive snaps. Clowney had two tackles but no quarterback hits. “He’s hurting,’’ Carroll said. “He’s going to have to work his way trough the week to make it to game day. He’s playing really tough under the circumstances.’’
• Veteran defensive lineman Al Woods, who has battled a knee injury for a few weeks, left the game in the fourth quarter, but Carroll said on his radio show that Woods felt OK afterward.