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Injury Situation Reaches Catastrophic Stage for Seahawks

Seattle will continue to preach “next man up,” but with defenders dropping like flies and three running backs possibly done for the season, injuries have become a major detriment to the team’s chances to win in January.

Now deep into the month of December, all NFL teams have to deal with injuries this time of year and the Seahawks won’t be using them as an excuse.

Coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider take pride in drafting and developing players, and they’ll continue to push the “next man up” ideology. They’ve weathered injuries all year long and as long as Russell Wilson is under center, they believe they have a chance to win each week.

“We’re gonna figure out a way,” Carroll said when asked about dealing with injuries. “We’re gonna use all the same tools that we use all the time mentally to make sure that we can be disciplined about it and turn our focus on. I challenge these guys to do a remarkable job of doing that so that people who question your ability to do it can’t believe when we do it.”

But there’s no question Seattle has been hit especially hard in recent weeks. In the past month alone, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has battled a core issue, running back Rashaad Penny suffered a season-ending torn ACL, safety Quandre Diggs sprained his ankle, and several other players have been sidelined by injuries.

Adding to their extensive injury list in Sunday’s 27-13 loss to the Cardinals, the Seahawks lost starting running back Chris Carson and reserve C.J. Prosise, further depleting their once-stacked backfield. Carson suffered a significant hip injury and will need further testing, while Carroll announced Prosise broke his arm and will miss the rest of the season.

With rookie Travis Homer as the only healthy back on the roster, Carroll indicated Schneider will have to “get to work” bringing in a street free agent or two to help tote the rock and add insurance in the backfield.

As for tackle Duane Brown, who has been dealing with chronic injuries most of the season, Carroll dropped the bombshell he will undergo minor knee surgery on Monday, casting doubt about his ability to return for playoff games. At a minimum, he won’t be playing against the 49ers, meaning George Fant or Jamarco Jones will draw the start against one of the NFL’s best defensive lines.

There’s a strong chance Seattle will limp into postseason play, either as a wild card or a division champion, without Carson, Brown, Clowney and a host of other key players. That’s what makes Sunday’s defeat all that more disheartening--a win over Arizona would’ve helped chances at earning a bye in the postseason for players to heal up.

Instead, barring help from other teams next week, Wilson and the Seahawks will likely be forced to play on wild-card weekend regardless of the outcome in the season finale. Given how poor the team looked against the Cardinals and a laundry list of players out injured, that could mean another short stay in the playoffs as a result.