The Seahawks lost kicker Sebastian Janikowski for the second half of their playoff game against the Cowboys after he came up wincing on a 57-yard field goal miss.
ARLINGTON, Texas — A 57-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the first half seemed like a good chance for the Seahawks to steal some points and head into the locker room with a good little boost.
Instead, it turned into a serious injury for kicker Sebastian Janikowski and forced Seattle to change how it approached the final two quarters of Saturday’s 24-22 loss to Dallas in a wild-card playoff game.
Janikowski came up limping after his 57-yard attempt, which went wide right.
There was no reason to think Janikowski couldn’t make it — he hit a 56-yarder at Chicago in a similar situation earlier this year, and this time had the advantage of the controlled conditions of Jerry World.
But Carroll said Janikowski — who turns 41 in March — just may have tried a little too hard.
“He really hurt his hamstring on the kick,’’ Carroll said. “I would think he just tried to kick it as hard as he could and he hurt himself. He’s never had that happen before.’’
Had Seattle needed to try a point after attempt or field goal in the second half, punter Michael Dickson would have kicked, with quarterback Russell Wilson holding. (Dickson is the holder for Janikowski.)
Dickson took a couple of attempts during halftime to try it out, one missing badly.
But Carroll said Seattle’s general game plan in the second half was to avoid any kicking, if necessary.
“Absolutely we had to change (their thinking),’’ Carroll said. “We were in a different mode. And we were still ready to kick a field goal if we had to but we were going to do what we could to avoid that and not make that the issue, and the guys just responded.’’
Seattle went for two after each of its two second-half touchdowns, and got each one on runs by Chris Carson and Mike Davis.
Seattle also went for it on a fourth down at the Dallas 40 late in the third quarter, picking up the conversion on a Wilson pass to Doug Baldwin.
Had Seattle won, the Seahawks would undoubtedly have needed to sign a new place kicker.
The Seahawks may well be in the market for a new one, anyway.
Janikowski signed a one-year deal with Seattle this past offseason and will become an unrestricted free agent. That, plus some health issues — he also hurt his back in a game two weeks ago against Kansas City — indicate that the Seahawks will likely explore other options.