Seahawks rookie running back Thomas Rawls, one of the breakout stars of this season, broke his ankle in Sunday's 35-6 win at Baltimore, and will miss the remainder of the season, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.
Rawls, who gained 47 yards on his first five carries, all on Seattle's first possession, was injured on his sixth carry, a 3-yard loss. He was able to limp off the field under his own power, but the injury turned out to be serious.
"He did break his ankle, but I think the torn ligaments are really the problem," Carroll said. "I don't think he's going to have to have an operation, from what I understand, but it's substantial."
Carroll confirmed the injury will end Rawls' season, saying, "He's not going to be able to make it back."
Rawls, who signed with the Seahawks as an undrafted rookie out of Central Michigan, rushed for 830 yards with four touchdowns this season, averaging 5.6 yards per carry, and he had four 100-plus yard games starting in place of an injured Marshawn Lynch, including a franchise rookie record 209-rushing yards against San Francisco.
"Thomas has had a fantastic rookie season for us," Carroll said. "He just exemplifies what we're all about—toughness, hard-nosed, committed, grit and all that stuff. We love the guy and we're going to really miss him. He has really been a great asset to us this year and we love the way he has played."
As for what the Seahawks do next at running back, Carroll said it's "wait and see" at that position. DuJuan Harris and Fred Jackson are currently the only two healthy running backs on the roster, though fullback Derrick Coleman, who had a 19-yard carry late in the game, can play there too, and there's still no timeline on how soon Lynch will return from abdominal surgery.
"You'll see how we'll figure that out," Carroll said. "We'll see how Marshawn does, he was back in rehabbing with us. We'll see where he is, he's got a chance to get back. It's all about getting back in shape and getting right. I don't know what that timetable is at this point, our trainers can't tell yet, but that'll be the next thing we'll look for and see how that works, and in the meantime we'll figure it out."
On Harris, who rushed for 42 yards on 18 carries and had one fumble in the red zone, Carroll said, "I thought he ran hard. It was unfortunate he got the ball knocked away from him once. We tried to stay with him—we're going to need him—so we put him right back in, and he did a fine job of taking care of the football."
While Rawls' injury was the most serious one, he was not the only Seahawk to leave the game with an injury. Safety Kam Chancellor bruised his tailbone in the first quarter and was replaced by Kelcie McCray for the rest of the game. Carroll expressed optimism that Chancellor will be able to make it back quickly from that injury.
"He's really uncomfortable today, but we think he's got a chance to get back by the end of the week," Carroll said.
Cornerback DeShawn Shead left the game with an ankle injury in the second half and was replaced by Jeremy Lane, but Shead did come back in the game after nickel corner Marcus Burley, who had stepped into that role with Lane moving to right corner, suffered an ankle injury of his own. Defensive end Michael Bennett also briefly left the game with a toe injury but was able to return.
"Both Burley and Shead turned their ankle a little bit," Carroll said. "Burles continues to kind of tweak that one. Mike jammed his toe one time, something that's been with him for some time, but he went back in the game. Shead got back in the game as well, so those are good signs, but we'll see what happens through the week."
Seahawks scored 29 or more points for the fourth-straight week, keeping the Ravens out of the endzone in a 35-6 win in Week 14.