Key players for Seahawks, Eagles injured in grueling game
SEATTLE (AP) One after another, key players for Philadelphia and Seattle hobbled to the sideline on Sunday with injuries that could impact the teams beyond the Seahawks' 26-15 victory over the Eagles.
Earl Thomas, C.J. Prosise, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles all could be out for multiple weeks after getting hurt in a punishing contest.
Seattle got its third straight win to move three games ahead in the NFC West race, but it came at a cost.
Prosise will miss significant time with a ''scapula issue,'' according to Seattle coach Pete Carroll.
''There is a chance he comes back this year, yes,'' Carroll said. ''We'll have to figure that out. It's going to be a while, though.''
The injury came just as Prosise was establishing himself as a threat in Seattle's backfield. After fueling a surprising win over New England last week, Prosise ripped off a 72-yard touchdown run in the first quarter on Sunday.
Then he got hurt just before halftime.
And Prosise might not even be Seattle's biggest injury.
Thomas grabbed at his left hamstring while running downfield in coverage in the third quarter on a deep throw that Richard Sherman intercepted. Thomas was examined on the sideline for a short time and eventually went to the locker room. Carroll did not have an idea yet on how long the free safety may be out, but once Thomas left, Philadelphia was able to find gaps in the secondary that weren't available earlier in the game.
''I was very confused man, just looking out there and used to seeing your normal guys out there and just having different faces out there,'' linebacker K.J. Wright said. ''Hopefully, we get those guys back, but it just shows those guys got to be ready each and every week because you never know when your name is going to be called, and so we'll be fine.''
Seattle's two big losses were countered by a pair of significant blows to Philadelphia's backfield. Mathews injured his knee and Sproles hurt his ribs, both in the second quarter. Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson said he would not have an update on their conditions until the team returned home, but the injuries left the Eagles relying on Kenjon Barner and, specifically, rookie Wendell Smallwood in the backfield. Smallwood had 13 carries for 48 yards and caught another four passes for 31 yards.
''It was tough. I think Sproles creates mismatches in the passing game. Ryan Mathews, obviously he's been running great the past few weeks and today he started off really strong,'' Philadelphia rookie quarterback Carson Wentz said. ''Wendell and Kenjon, we have a lot of confidence in; I think that's a position we have a lot of depth at. I think those guys stepped up big.''
In total, 17 players left the game for at least one play due to injury. For Seattle, that included strong safety Kam Chancellor, left tackle George Fant and linebacker Brock Coyle, all of whom returned. Starting cornerback DeShawn Shead felt something in his hamstring during Saturday's walkthrough and could not get loose on Sunday, playing just sparingly in the first half. His replacement, Neiko Thorpe, had to leave in the fourth quarter due to cramps.
In addition to Mathews and Sproles, Philadelphia lost right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai to a leg injury in the fourth quarter. Defensive linemen Fletcher Cox and Connor Barwin, left tackle Jason Peters and cornerback Leonis McKelvin also all left for a time with injuries. Cox, Barwin and Peters all returned.
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