Marquise Blair, Geno Smith Knocked Out Versus Raiders

Rob Rang

Excitement over splashy plays by several players on the bubble and an otherwise impressive 14-6 halftime lead over the visiting Oakland Raiders Saturday night at Century Link Field was cut with potentially significant injuries to quarterback Geno Smith and safety Marquise Blair.

Starting in place of Russell Wilson - who like most of either team's starters was held out - Smith was extremely efficient before getting bowled over in a late second quarter sack and quickly grimacing with pain as he untied his left shoe.

Seattle's trainers appeared to look at Smith's foot, calf and knee as current third string quarterback Paxton Lynch quickly loosened up and entered the game, going 0/1 before the half. Soon after, it was announced that Smith was questionable to return due to a left knee injury.

Though Smith's initial reaction to the injury was concerning, he returned to the sideline following halftime and watched in uniform, a positive sign.

The news could be much more concerning for Blair, who was also sidelined in the second quarter after aggravating a previous back injury.

He unofficially left with two tackles, including one solo on the night.

While Blair has shown flashes, it was not the type of performance he needed to push Seattle's incumbent starting duo of Bradley McDougald and Tedric Thompson. Should Blair be unavailable for any length of time, it could be the lucky break that a veteran like Deshawn Shead, Shalom Luani or even Lano Hill need to stick through cut-down day - at least the initial one.

The injuries were particularly disappointing in that they threaten to steal the spotlight from what was otherwise a very encouraging performance from many of the players thought to be most on the roster bubble, including Day Three picks Ben Burr-Kirven and Travis Homer, as well as undrafted free agents Bryan Mone and Jazz Ferguson, as well as veterans Justin Meder, Branden Jackson and Marcus Martin.

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