**Rookie wideout Paul Richardson, the Seahawks' first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, suffered an ACL injury during last night's 31-17 divisional-round playoff win over the Carolina Panthers, the team confirmed on Sunday.
Richardson was hurt in the third quarter of Saturday's game at Seattle's CenturyLink Field after going up for a deep ball from quarterback Russell Wilson.
After the game, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll called the setback a knee sprain, but noted preliminary tests may not be accurate.
As the team's second-round pick out of Colorado, Richardson played in 15 games for the Seahawks in 2014, recording 271 yards and a touchdown on 29 catches. His final numbers aren't staggering, but he was emerging as an effective weapon down the stretch, making 13 grabs through the team's final three games, including a career-high five catches in Week 16 against the Arizona Cardinals and a career-high 60 yards in Seattle's regular-season finale against the St. Louis Rams.
With Richardson on the mend, fellow rookie Kevin Norwood and fourth-year pro Ricardo Lockette should see their roles increase. Lockette saw an uptick in snaps against the Panthers after Richardson went down.
Richardson, who had one catch for 21 yards in this weekend's divisional playoff, also served as the Seahawks' primary kick returner - a duty he took over after the team traded Percy Harvin to the New York Jets. He totaled 376 yards on 16 returns with a long of 47. Fellow wideout Doug Baldwin has backed up Richardson at the position and gained 81 yards on five kick returns this season.
Outside of Lockette, Norwood, and Baldwin, the Seahawks receiving corps features a healthy Jermaine Kearse, Bryan Walters, and Chris Matthews.
*UPDATE (1/12, 10 a.m. PT): During his Monday morning appearance on 710 ESPN Seattle, head coach Pete Carroll called the injury a "heart breaker" and confirmed the setback would sideline Richardson for the remainder of the Seahawks' postseason run. Later, in his Monday afternoon press conference, Carroll said B.J. Daniels would be promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster in Richardson's place. Daniels will serve as the team's third quarterback and could contribute at running back, wide receiver, and on special teams, said Carroll. *
Game Action photos of the Seattle Seahawks 31-17 divisional playoff win over the Carolina Panthers.