NEW ORLEANS—The Seahawks lost a key piece of their offense on Sunday, with running back Rashaad Penny going down with what head coach Pete Carroll described as serious ankle injury.
Carroll said more tests are needed to confirm the specifics of the injury, but early indications are not good.
"He's hurt his ankle seriously," Carroll said. "I don't want to make any statements because I don't know exactly yet until they get all the MRIs and stuff, but he's got a bad ankle."
The injury is the latest blow in Penny's career that has featured more than his fair share of injuries, most notably a torn ACL that ended his 2019 season and kept him out for almost all of the following seasons. When healthy, Penny showed last season and against early this season that he is capable of being one of the NFL's most productive and explosive backs.
Penny's struggles with injuries make this one feel all the more unfortunate for a player who worked so hard to get back and fully healthy to emerge as a star late last season.
"This has been a journey for him, and for us too," Carroll said. "Really, I fell in love with the fact that he emerged and showed us the great player that he is and what he can mean to the game and our team and all of that, and for it to come down to another setback—he'll be back, he'll be back—but it's a setback that just breaks my heart. He has been having so much fun, he has been so rewarded and so fulfilled. He knows he belongs, he knows he can do it, and he knows he can be an impact in this league, so to lose that chance. It's similar kind of to when Jamal (Adams) goes out. They put so much into it, and they care so much about it, then to have it taken away because of mishap, it's unfortunate."
Carroll later said he talked to Penny and that the running back "is crushed" about the latest injury.
Added quarterback Geno Smith, "It's extremely tough. Penny's my brother, man, love him to death. I hate that for him, I know how hard he's worked, I know how much he's put into this. It sucks. We need him out there, he's a leader for our team, a leader for our offense. We've got to pick it up, we've got to do it for him."
The Seahawks also saw defensive tackle Al Woods leave the game with a knee injury that cut short a five-tackle, one-sack performance by the Louisiana native playing in front of family and friends.
"His knee flared up," Carroll said. "He was having a great game, he was doing everything. It's really unfortunate because had his whole family here, everybody's right down the road. He was dying to go back in, but he couldn't quite get that done."
The Seahawks face the Saints in New Orleans for Week 5 of the season at Caesars Superdome on October 9, 2022. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.