The Seahawks not only lost Richard Sherman on Thursday. Other key players were injured. Is Seattle simply too injured to make a deep playoff run?
The Seahawks won on Thursday. But they lost a lot more against the Arizona Cardinals. Cornerback Richard Sherman, who routinely shuts down a half of the field, was lost for the season to an Achilles injury. Safety Kam Chancellor was carted off the field with a stinger. Jarren Reed left the game early. Earl Thomas did not even play. And that’s just the defense.
Offensively, oft-injured C.J. Prosise was hurt again. Duane Brown could not finish the game with an ankle injury. Russell Wilson had to leave the game for a play, which maybe should have been three.
Long-term we know Sherman is gone for the year. George Fant was lost before the season. His replacement, Rees Odhiambo, is now on injured reserve. His replacement, Brown, has an ankle injury. These last three are simply the left tackles.
There is no replacement for Sherman. Rookie Shaquill Griffin has played well on the opposite side of the field, but there is no real backup for Sherman. Seattle relies on Sherman to make jobs easier for the rest of the secondary. At the end of the Cardinals game, Seattle did not have any of the original Legion of Boom on the field because they were hurt. The Seahawks had never faced this before. But now it could be more common. The great players of the Seahawks are getting older. Therefore, injury is more likely.
Injuries take a toll
No NFL team can deal with many losses to good and experienced players. There are just too few players available to a team. On the best and healthiest of days, Seattle is not clearly the best team in the league. This is not 2013 anymore. Seattle needs Thomas, Chancellor and Sherman on the field. At least once of those players will not be playing for Seattle at the end of the season.
The Seahawks are not in a position to make the Super Bowl right now. And they are only an injury away from Russell Wilson from not making the playoffs. There is a real chance we are watching the Seahawks championship window close more quickly than we hoped.