The Seahawks seemed about one more injury to a running back from calling Marshawn Lynch yet again.
Rookie starter Kenneth Walker, who replaced out-for-the-year Rashaad Penny in late October, went out in the second quarter of Seattle’s 27-23 win at the Los Angeles Rams with an injured ankle. He spent the rest of the first half watching the game from the sideline on SoFi Stadium’s mammoth, zillion-dollar big screen overhead. He had his right shoe off and right leg extended on the metal bench.
His replacement DeeJay Dallas then hurt his ankle, on a carry on the final play of the first half with Seattle leading 14-13.
That left fourth-stringer Tony Jones, a midseason waiver pickup from New Orleans. He was pretty much the only running back left, because Travis Homer was home with an injured knee and ill, inactive for this game.
Jones played Sunday without really being able to see much.
In the third quarter Jones got crunched in the side of the helmet by a shoulder and helmet hit by Rams defensive back Russ Yeast. It looked like Jones was knocked woozy.
“So, the guy hit my helmet and my contact (lens) came out,” Jones said. “It was on me and I was trying to find it, and then it fell.”
Jones went into the blue observation tent behind the Seahawks’ bench. It wasn’t for a concussion evaluation. It was to see if he could see without his contacts.
“I didn’t have any spares. So I took the other one out,” he said.
Jones played the rest of the game somewhat blind, without his contact lenses. He said without them, it’s illegal for him to drive.
In the fourth quarter with the Seahawks clinging to a 17-16 lead, the visually impaired Jones was surrounded by Rams in the backfield on a second-and-1 hand-off from quarterback Geno Smith. Yet Jones could see enemy blue jerseys, and fuzzy space to avoid them. He did, on a gritty run for a first down.
That first down set up Jason Myers for his second field goal of the game, and Seattle upped its lead to 20-16.
“I had to improvise. I had to go into that Little League mode,” Jones said.
Walker got hurt after a promising continuation of his wondrous season Sunday.
The second-round draft choice from Michigan State ran through the left-guard gap, cut outside left and steamed for 30 yards on Seattle’s first offensive play. Then he sent himself to the sidelines. He returned later in the quarter, ran two more times for 6 yards, then went back to the Seahawks’ sideline. The team physician Dr. Ed Khalfayan looked at Walker’s right ankle.
Carroll said after the game Walker “jammed his ankle” but the team did not yet know the severity of the injury or whether he can play next weekend when Seattle hosts Carolina (4-8).
“I can’t tell you because it’s not an ankle strain. It jammed inside,” Carroll said, “so I’m not quite sure what to tell you right now.”
Monday, on his weekly radio show with Seattle’s KIRO AM, Carroll said MRI exams showed Walker had a strain of a small area on the inside of his ankle. The coach didn’t rule out Walker playing Sunday against the Panthers, but the team remained cautious and unsure.
In the first quarter Dallas had a brilliant pickup of Leonard Floyd, as the Rams linebacker was blitzing free in on Smith on a third-and-7 pass. Dallas’ block allowed Smith the time to find Tyler Lockett running free outside left for a 36-yard touchdown. Lockett’s seventh touchdown catch this season, Smith’s 20th touchdown against five interceptions, tied the game at 7.
“I mean, just doing what I can do for the team,” Dallas said. “Glad we could get the ball off. Didn’t get Geno hit, so that’s a plus.”
Coaches all this week will show and re-show Dallas’ block. It created a touchdown.
Dallas shrugged on his way out of California about that.
“The touchdown was the best result,” he said. “No one needed to congratulate me, or anything.
“The touchdown was, in itself, was my...it sufficed.”
In the second quarter, Dallas injured his ankle running on the final play of the half. The Seahawks announced he was doubtful to return.
“After halftime, tried to run on the sideline, couldn’t put pressure on it. I just sat down,” Dallas said. “That’s the day. Game over.”
Yet he returned in the third quarter. That was after Jones lost his contact.
“I was like, (shoot), I don’t want to let the team down,” said Dallas, who finished with 37 yards on 10 carries.
Both Dallas and Jones finished the game. The Seahawks got the win. And they didn’t call Lynch again. Yet.
Not that we know of anyway.
Carroll said Monday Dallas has something like a high-ankle type strain of ligaments. That also is a Seahawks issue for the Carolina game Sunday.