FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Seahawks safety Earl Thomas was surprised to see rookie running back C.J. Prosise "ball out like that" on Sunday night.
After all, Prosise missed four games this season with a wrist injury, and had yet to start a game in the NFL, so it's understandable that not everyone knew what to expect from the rookie whose performance in a 31-24 win at New England was something of a coming-out party. But for the people who had been tracking Prosise since he was at Notre Dame and decided to make Prosise a third-round pick, Sunday's performance was anything but surprising.
"Isn't he something?" Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "He's a really good player. We've just been pumped up about him the whole time. When we went into the draft, we wanted to get that guy for exactly what you saw tonight… We fell in love with him during the draft process."
After being limited in his first game back from injury, Prosise took on a bigger role against New Orleans and gave a glimpse of what was to come, totaling 123 yards from scrimmage. Then on Sunday, Prosise earned his first start, and he responded in a big way, leading the Seahawks both in receiving and rushing yards. Prosise rushed for 66 yards on 17 carries and added 87 yards on seven catches, giving him 153 yards of total offense.
"I just went out there and did my job," Prosise said. "I was given an opportunity and wanted to make the most of it.
"It's been an up-and-down year, but it's a long season. Everybody is going to get their opportunity to have their night. Tonight was my night, and I just made the most of my opportunity."
Prosise didn't just show off his talent as a runner and pass-catcher, he also demonstrated some serious toughness, first giving a big hit to a defensive back on the sideline, then later taking a huge hit at the end of a run and bouncing back from that. Then in the fourth quarter, Prosise made a nice catch down the sideline knowing that a big hit was coming, and he held on for a 38-yard gain.
"He's a dog too now, he was tough tonight, he hung in there, he took some hits, he delivered some hits," Carroll said. "I thought that was a really impressive showing by him in this game."
Prosise's teammates definitely noticed and appreciated the toughness that the rookie back showed.
"He didn't step out of bounds, he sought contact," Baldwin said. "It lit up our sidelines. He shows his dedication to his teammates when he does stuff like that."
See some of the action from Sunday Night Football, Seahawks at Patriots during Week 10 at Gillette Stadium.