When Jordyn Brooks went down on the sideline immediately grabbing his knee, and when he was quickly ruled out of the game not long after being carted to the locker room, the initial fear for anyone watching was that the Seahawks linebacker had suffered a significant injury.
Unfortunately, an MRI confirmed the bad news a day after Seattle's Week 17 win over the Jets, as Pete Carroll explained during his weekly appearance on Seattle Sports 710 AM.
"He has an ACL injury that's legit," Carroll said on the Brock and Salk Show. "He had an unfortunate landing on the sideline over there as he was spinning, he just got his knee torqued. He didn't get hit on it; he was kind of rotating around the tackle and landed awkwardly, and unfortunately he got hurt. That's a shame, man, what a great, great player and a great teammate."
Brooks, a 2020 first-round pick, last year set a franchise record with 183 tackles, and had 161 this season, which currently ranks third in the NFL. Last month he was named a Pro-Bowl alternate.
As was the case in Sunday's 23-6 victory, Brooks' injury will mean a move from the weakside linebacker spot to middle linebacker for Cody Barton, who also takes over defensive play-calling duties. Tanner Muse took Barton's usual spot after Brooks was injured, so he figures to be the first option there as well, though Carroll also mentioned Jon Rhattigan and practice squad linebacker Alexander Johnson as players who could help with Brooks out.
"Cody becomes the Mike (middle linebacker)," Carroll said. "He's been the backup Mike the whole time, which isn't that big of a deal. He's a very good play-caller, so he'll handle those duties well. Tanner Muse played well yesterday, and Jonny Rhattigan and Alexander, we want to see all these guys contribute to help us out. Guys have got to step up, and that's what they'll do."
In other injury news, Carroll said that receiver Tyler Lockett is dealing with a leg contusion, having gotten kicked during the game. Lockett left the game in the second quarter, and was eventually able to return, though the Seahawks did take him back out of the game late while playing with a three-score lead.
"He got his leg kicked and got a lower-leg contusion that bothered him, right in the area where he hurt his leg before," Carroll said. "It was really sore during the game. He tried to get through that and got back in the game a little bit, but he got banged."
On a positive note, Lockett had no issue with his hand, playing less than two weeks after surgery to install 10 screws and a metal plate in his fractured hand.
"He made it through the hand thing, famously," Carroll said. "That's crazy. That's so crazy that he did that. There's no words to describe his competitiveness and his will to be part of it. He's amazing, that was great stuff."
Check out some of the best action shots from Week 17 vs. the New York Jets at Lumen Field on January 1, 2023. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.