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His left wrist looked like, well, nothing that resembled a normal wrist.
That’s because despite playing with a cast on his wrist the past six weeks, veteran strong safety Deon Grant played his best game of the season Sunday in the Seahawks’ season-ending 17-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans at Qwest Field.
Grant intercepted a Vince Young pass in the first quarter. He recovered a Chris Johnson fumble in the third quarter, setting up a field goal that gave the Seahawks a 13-10 lead. In between, Grant made nine tackles – one shy of his season-high. He even added a 10th on special teams.
His reward? Surgery to repair the wrist, A.S.A.P.
“First thing this week,” Grant said after the game when asked about the surgery he put on hold to finish the season.
How difficult has it been to basically play with one hand? “Very,” he said. “But you know, I’m not complaining. A lot of guys have to get their arms cut off over there in Iraq, so I’m not complaining at all. It isn’t anything but a little surgery. I still have my hand.”
What will the surgery entail to repair the damaged ligament? “To be honest with you, I don’t know,” Grant said. “I just know they’ve got to cut me up. They told me, but I don’t remember. As long as I’ve got to have surgery, I just let them do what they’ve got to do.”
Just like Grant has been doing what he felt he had to do when another player might have opted for surgery immediately, especially with the way this season was going.
“Deon is definitely one of our leaders on defense,” said linebacker Will Herring, who started the past two games for injured first-round draft choice Aaron Curry. “So when you’ve got a guy like that setting the example, you just fill-in and follow the lead.”
How difficult has it been playing with the wrist casted? That was apparent on his interception, when Grant had to body-catch the ball rather than using his hands.
“No hand action with that one,” he said.
But then Grant used his head to set up the pick that he couldn’t catch with his hands.
“I was just in the middle of the field,” he explained. “I was playing with him, like I was playing short and just ran to the middle of the field real quick knowing he was going to air it out.”
Heady stuff, especially for a player who has been playing with a mangled wrist.
“Deon played a fantastic game,” said defensive end Patrick Kerney, who played with and through a strained groin this season. “As I said to the team before the game, ‘Let’s see how great we can be, because this is the one we’re left with for the whole offseason.’
“Here’s a guy who rose to that challenge and was a huge difference-maker for us. I’ve always admired him. He’s a tough guy. I watched him play a preseason game after dislocated a finger a half hour before kickoff. He’s a guy who’s been playing with a cast and never used it as an excuse. He just produces.”