Although he continues to seek additional opinions, all signs point towards the Seahawks losing rookie cornerback Tre Brown for the remainder of the 2021 season with a patellar tendon injury.
While coach Pete Carroll initially told reporters on Monday he didn't have an update on Brown's situation, he indicated the player would need to be operated on. When pressed for further clarity, he reluctantly admitted surgery seemed inevitable and he wouldn't be able to return this season.
"This is just the day after and it looks like surgery is imminent," Carroll clarified. "Yeah, so he would be [done for the year]."
Not long after Carroll's press conference concluded, Brown took to Twitter to thank the 12s for his support and confirmed his rookie season had reached its conclusion.
Brown, a fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma, suffered the injury at the 7:37 mark in the second quarter while defending veteran receiver A.J. Green on a vertical route in coverage. As the corner turned in an attempt to make a play on the football, he tripped over his own feet and his left leg got caught underneath him awkwardly.
Despite being injured, Brown managed to bring Green down after the wideout high-pointed the ball for a 31-yard reception, then rolled over grimacing in pain. Trainers rushed out to the field and players from both teams took a knee around him before he eventually hobbled off the field to the locker room on his own power. Though the team ruled him as questionable, he never returned to the field.
After exiting, Brown was replaced in the lineup by Sidney Jones, who started in place of injured starting right cornerback D.J. Reed. The ex-Washington standout nearly reeled in an interception against Cardinals backup quarterback Colt McCoy in the third quarter after undercutting a hitch route by Green. Unfortunately, the play was reviewed and overturned with officials ruling the ball hit the ground.
Since making his NFL debut in Week 6 against the Steelers, Brown has helped galvanize a once-maligned Seahawks secondary. Despite being smaller than the prototypical corner Carroll has preferred on the outside in the past, the 5-foot-10, 207-pound defender logged 232 snaps in his first four games, giving up seven receptions on 16 targets for a 43.8 completion rate, 44 yards, no touchdowns, and a 51.0 opposing passer rating per Pro Football Focus.
If Brown suffered a patellar tendon rupture similar to the one tight end Will Dissly underwent surgery for back in 2018, he could be sidelined into next season with up to a 12-month recovery window. That would be a major blow for a Seattle secondary that currently doesn't have any other cornerbacks under contract beyond this season.
Moving forward under the assumption Brown won't play again until 2022, Carroll doesn't know if Reed will be ready to return from a groin issue against Washington on Monday. The fourth-year veteran doesn't have a severe injury, but he did have a setback and his status remains uncertain.
In the event Reed can't play, the Seahawks will likely start Jones and Bless Austin, who saw his first extended action on defense stepping in at right cornerback on Sunday. Carroll also mentioned John Reid, who the team acquired from the Texans in August, as a possible option to help fill the void if needed.
"Sidney did a nice job yesterday, played a good football game and came through for us in nice spots. Bless, this was the first time we got a chance to see him. He survived, had one play where he stumbled, but other than that, he was pretty solid for his first time out."