The fact that Ryan Neal was the unlikely hero in Sunday's win over the Cowboys was certainly a feel-good moment for young safety. That he was in the game for that deciding play was a sign of how hard injuries have hit the Seahawks over the past two games.
Neal, who was activated off of the practice squad a day before he made the game-clinching interception in a 38-31 victory, was on the field because starting strong safety Jamal Adams came out of the game earlier in the fourth quarter with a groin injury. He was also brought up to provide secondary depth with cornerbacks Quinton Dunbar and Neiko Thorpe both dealing with injuries that ended up keeping them out of the game, and with safety Marquise Blair going on injured reserve due to a knee injury.
Lano Hill, who likely would have taken over for Adams in that situation normally, was a surprise inactive Sunday because of a back issue that flared up overnight, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.
And Adams wasn't the only player to leave the game with an injury. Rookie right guard Damien Lewis left in the first quarter with an ankle injury and didn't return, Chris Carson hurt his knee in the fourth quarter, rookie linebacker Jordyn Brooks left with a knee injury, left guard Mike Iupati had a knee injury but did return to the game, and center Ethan Pocic played through a knee injury to stay in the game.
Those injuries all come a week after the Seahawks lost Blair and linebacker Bruce Irvin to season-ending knee injuries.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll didn't have a lot of details so soon after the game, but here is the rundown of what he said about Sunday's injuries:
On Dunbar, Thorpe and Hill being inactive, Carroll said, "Before the game happened, Quinton Dunbar's knee acted up and he wasn't able to go. Neiko's hip didn't make it through the week and he couldn't go. Lano Hill has a back situation… Lano told us today he had a problem. He woke up with it, it was a real surprise."
Carroll said Lewis had an X-ray and it was negative, and said the rookie guard has an ankle sprain.
On Adams, who left the game in the fourth quarter, Carroll said, "Jamal Adams had a groin strain, don't know what's going to happen with that. It's pretty tight."
Carroll said Carson "got his knee twisted at the end of a play, so I don't know about that, but he's got a sprained knee to some extent."
Carroll said Brooks, this year's first-round pick was in a starting role for the first time with Irvin out, also had a knee sprain. And while they both were able to finish the game, Iupati and Pocic are dealing with knee injuries as well.
"That's a lot of stuff," Carroll said. "We're not used to seeing all those names coming out of one game."