The Seattle Seahawks were outscored 17-3 and outgained 324-88 in the first half against the Houston Texans at Houston's Reliant Stadium, but near the end of the first half, defensive end Michael Bennett suffered a scary injury that rendered those stats relatively meaningless. With 18 seconds left in the second quarter, Bennett came around the right end to pressure Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, and Houston left tackle Ryan Harris pushed Bennett into Schaub's lower body. It wasn't a dirty play by any means, but the terrible luck of the draw had Bennett's head snapping violently as he hit Schaub. (GIF via SBNation.)
Bennett laid face-down on the turf for several minutes before he was taken off on a stretcher. He raised his head and exhibited movement in his upper and lower body. Fox Sports reported during the third quarter of the game that Bennett has all movement and all feeling in his extremities, and it's being termed a "lower-body injury." Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said after his team's 23-20 overtime win that Bennett suffered a strained lower back muscle, and he was able to return to the team after a trip to the hospital.
Most poignantly, Bennett's father was in the stands, yelling for his son to respond to him. Bennett attended Texas A&M and planned to have several friends and members of his family at the game. As we detailed earlier this week, Bennett has been one of the league's better pass rushers this season.