Confirming the team's fears after exiting with what coach Pete Carroll deemed a "significant" knee injury during Monday's loss to the Saints, the Seahawks will be without defensive back Marquise Blair for the rest of the season.
Updating Blair's status to reporters on Wednesday, Carroll indicated the former second-round pick would undergo surgery to repair a fractured patella. He suffered the injury after being pushed by receiver Tre'Quan Smith during a play in the fourth quarter, as his leg buckled and he remained on the ground for several minutes before walking off gingerly alongside trainers.
"He's getting operated on today, I believe, today or tomorrow," Carroll said. "It's a good surgery to get his knee fixed, he's got a fractured patella."
The unfortunate news marks the second consecutive season cut short for Blair due to a severe knee injury. During a Week 2 win over the Patriots last season, he tore his ACL after linebacker K.J. Wright inadvertently struck his teammate in the leg with his helmet during a tackle attempt. He underwent reconstructive knee surgery and missed the final 14 regular season games and the postseason.
Set to miss the final 10 regular season games after already missing a Week 3 loss to the Vikings in Week 3, Blair will have missed 28 combined games in three seasons due to various injuries. Durability has been a concern for him dating back to college, as he tore his ACL late in the 2017 season at Utah.
Appearing in six games for the Seahawks, Blair had split reps with fellow third-year defender Ugo Amadi at the nickel cornerback spot and will finish his season with nine tackles and a pair of pass breakups. In coverage, per Pro Football Reference, he allowed five receptions on nine targets for 57 yards and no touchdowns.
While Seattle won't have Blair available for the rest of the year, Carroll did provide some encouraging news on rookie receiver Dee Eskridge, who has been sidelined for the past six games with a severe concussion suffered in the season opener. Last week, he traveled to Florida for visual testing to address lingering issues he has been dealing with as a result of the head injury and while there isn't a timetable for his return, the team believes he could practice in the near future.
"He's flying in tonight," Carroll updated. "He had a big training in rehab program that he went through in Florida that we thought was necessary. The reports coming out are that he's in great shape and ready to go; I don't know what that means until we get on the field. If he's cleared tomorrow, then we'll start to get some work from him. And I can't tell you what that means."
When asked about specifics regarding Eskridge's trip last week, Carroll added, "He did have some issues from the concussion that he had, some visual things that he was working on and that's what he's been focusing on."
Per Carroll, the Seahawks expect to have guard Damien Lewis and linebacker Darrell Taylor back in action after both players sat out Monday's loss with shoulder and neck injuries respectively. Each player was a full participant in Wednesday's practice, a great sign they will return to the field on Sunday against the Jaguars.
"The early indications is Darrell is really ready to get back in," Carroll said. "Damien, that's the way they're talking, they're really counting on him making it back to play, which is a nice boost for us."
The status of right tackle Brandon Shell, who re-aggravated a previous ankle injury on Monday night, remains uncertain. Though Carroll said he's "not hobbled" by the injury, the veteran blocker didn't practice on Wednesday and Seattle will have to see how his body responds during the week before knowing whether or not he will be available to play against Jacksonville.
In the event Shell misses his third game of the year, the Seahawks could turn to Jamarco Jones or undrafted rookie Jake Curhan as a replacement for him in the starting lineup. The team recently waived Cedric Ogbuehi, who started at right tackle back in Week 5 against the 49ers, and he signed with the Ravens practice squad on Tuesday.