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The Seahawks’ Win Over the Cardinals Cost Them Richard Sherman—and Possibly a Whole Lot More

The defensive back tore his Achilles, but that’s not where the injuries end for Seattle

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

When you tear your Achilles tendon, do you know it right away? That’s the question Seahawks fans are asking, as Richard Sherman appeared to tell teammates that he’d tore it after reaggravating an injury that has dogged him since September in the third quarter of Thursday’s 22-16 win over the Cardinals.

Through a series of slow-motion replays and close-ups, NBC gave viewers the chance to read Sherman’s lips, even as the Seahawks listed him doubtful to return with a heel injury. Though Sherman was able to limp around the sideline, he seemed to tell Russell Wilson that he is “out for the year,” before hugging him. He was also seen hugging Seattle defensive coordinator Kris Richard in the fourth quarter.

Sherman had already been dealing with an Achilles issue during the week—he was listed as questionable coming into the game and was unable to practice as recently as Tuesday.

If Sherman does miss significant time, it will add to an already-long list of injured stars in the NFL. Just imagine the lineup you could construct with some of the league’s players who are currently out for at least long stretches: It would include Aaron Rodgers, Odell Beckham Jr., J.J. Watt, Deshaun Watson, Andrew Luck, Eric Berry, David Johnson, Dalvin Cook, and Jason Peters. That doesn’t even include Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, Leonard Fournette, or Rob Gronkowski — all of whom have missed at least one game this season with various ailments.

The Seahawks left this contest banged up. Offensive tackle Duane Brown, running back C.J. Prosise, defensive tackle Jarran Reed, linebacker Michael Wilhoite, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, and defensive end Frank Clark all left this game with injuries. The loss of Brown, who left with an ankle injury, is a particular disappointment — he just joined the team a week ago at the trade deadline and looked to be a key contributor on an offensive line that has struggled all season. Richardson, who collided with Clark in the fourth quarter, has anchored the Seattle defensive line since the team traded for him on September 1, and Reed, Wilhoite, and Clark are all defensive starters. Meanwhile, the loss of Prosise would hurt an already-thin running back corps.

That list doesn’t even include Earl Thomas, who missed the game with a hamstring injury he suffered two Sundays ago against the Texans, or Cliff Avril, who was moved to IR in mid-October after a spine injury. The Seahawks already know how valuable Thomas is—the defense didn’t look anything like itself last year when he missed five of the team’s last six games. The vaunted Legion of Boom was down to just one healthy player in Seattle’s secondary for much of the game: Kam Chancellor—and he went to the medical tent late in the fourth quarter. Whatever caused the team to send him there wasn’t immediately clear, but he reportedly left the field on a cart.

After the game, Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin expressed his view of Thursday Night Football:

The Seahawks could be in trouble. The team came into this week one spot out of the playoffs in the NFC, and contests with the Falcons, Eagles, Jaguars, Rams, and Cowboys are on the horizon. The only silver lining is that the team’s date with Atlanta comes next Monday, so the Seahawks will have 10 days to rest and recover.