Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas suffered a lower leg fracture in the second quarter of Sunday's 40-7 win over that Carolina Panthers that Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said could require Thomas to miss six weeks. Here's how Carroll and Thomas' teammates reacted to the setback:
(On what impact Earl Thomas' injury will have on the team...)"Earl's been a fixture here for a long time. He had missed two games in his life playing football. We're going to miss him enormously. Like I said, Steve Terrell knows how to play the game. He knows what we're doing, he knows how to give us what we're looking for, and he's played very well. We're all going to miss the heck out of Earl because we love having that guy back there, but we don't get to. Steven will step up and we'll count on hi to come through for us."
(On how Steven Terrell played in Thomas' place...) "He did very well. .... The first play he was in they got on top of us and made that big play. The other stuff he had a chance to do after that was very much in line, and I thought he did very well. He played well last week, in replacing Earl, so he'll be the guy going. At least he's got a couple of games under his belt. We think we can count on him in a big way."
(On what you do to keep an injury like Earl Thomas' from impacting the team...) "The truth. Going right back to the truth. We'll come out on Monday, we'll be all right. He can't play now. We have to move ahead. Our guys are very mature about stuff like this. They'll handle it. They'll miss the heck out of him. But they will immediately will start pulling for Steven to do his thing. They know that that's the way it has to go. I think these guys are mature, they love the kid and they care about him, but they also know that this is part of the things that happen, and we have to deal with it properly, and we will."
(On playing without Earl Thomas moving forward...)"You lose one of the best safeties to ever play the game, in my opinion. Earl Thomas, he can do it all. He can run, he can catch, he's physical coming downhill. He's one of many heartbeats back there. I was able to see Earl in the locker room, obviously it's a devastating thing for him and all of us, but at the end of the day, somebody has to step up. Steven Terrell has done a great job, he's going to do a great job and step up. He's a tremendous football player and I was able to talk to Earl in there and just talk to Earl about being there for everybody else, in the sense of a guy like Steven. Earl's got so much knowledge back there, he understands the game, he's got an interesting way of how he plays the game and we're going to need that down the stretch. Earl is going to be great, he's going to overcome and he's going to prevail. Obviously it's a process and there's nothing he can't do. That's the thing, if it's going to happen to anyone, which is really unfortunate, he's the guy that will be able to overcome any situation. He'll be back and he'll be stronger than ever and we'll do everything we can to win a lot of football games."
(On how they will make up for Earl Thomas' passion...) "The good thing is we have a plethora of it. It goes all across the board, left to right, offense to defense to special teams. We'll be okay, we'll be ready to roll. It's disappointing, obviously, and he's passionate, so we'll have to bring a little bit extra. That's the good thing, we want him around because he's the best in the league and what he does and we need that. That communication is key, so we're excited about having Steven [Terrell] having to step up. We're not nervous about it, he'll be great at it. He's tremendous back there. It's disappointing obviously to lose a guy like Earl Thomas, and a great friend, he's a great friend. He'll be back, like I said."
(On what Earl Thomas means to the Seahawks defense...) "He means a ton to this defense. He's done so many great things for us, he's a fantastic ball player, he's a guy that sideline to sideline there's not a safety in this League that can do some of the things that he does — Eric Berry has been fantastic, so you've got to give him credit — but I think Earl Thomas is a guy we'll miss. He makes some plays that nobody else can make. He'll run guys down in the middle of the field, he'll bang people in the middle of the field, and that physicality is what we'll miss."
(On what you do to make up for Earl Thomas' loss...) "You can't make up for it. You just try to find somebody that can do half of what he does. It's hard to replace a great player, a Hall of Fame type of player, you can't really replace those. You've just got to get in where you fit in."
(On Earl Thomas' injury...) "That's tough, but you know guys will have to step up. Obviously the experience that Earl has in this defense, nobody can do it at that position, but of the guys that are going to step up I think they'll be able to make things happen."
(On Earl Thomas' injury...) "When Earl goes down, you know it's something serious because Earl isn't going to stay down. Obviously it's frustrating, but other guys need to step up and they will step up. I look at Steven Terrell and [I know] he's more than capable of carrying the load."
(On running into Earl Thomas on the play...) "I felt bad because I was part of that, just running into him. But it's football, accidents happen. You can't really tell where people are, we're both trying to make the play. It's hard to see your brother go down like that. Somebody you care about dearly, somebody you came into the League with, somebody you look at like a brother. All I can do is send my prayers to him and keep checking on him and help him fight this battle."
(On conversations with Thomas...) "When I saw him at halftime, I was just like my bad. He was like it wasn't your fault, we both were out there battling and we play reckless. This is a violent game and you never know what's going to happen."