In addition to losing a game on Thursday night, the Seahawks also lost the captain of their offense and one of their best players.
Receiver Tyler Lockett broke a bone in his index finger, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after his team's 21-13 loss to the 49ers, and while an exact timeline on the injury is not yet known, Carroll indicated surgery is likely and that Lockett will miss some time.
"Tyler Lockett broke a bone in his hand, his index finger," Carroll said. "It's legit and all that, and we've got to figure out what's the right way to go. I can't even fathom playing without Tyler. I got a chance to hang with him just to try to express what it's like to be working with a guy like this for so long, such an incredible player. He's not in tremendous pain, but he's got a broken hand, and you feel sorry for him. He's such a magnificent football player and member of the team and member of the community, that we're going to miss the heck out of him whatever he misses. You just don't think of Tyler having to suffer through stuff, he should just be having fun and playing the game the way he loves to do it and keep thrilling us like he does. So that just added to the night."
Carroll noted that the injury is similar to what running back Rashaad Penny suffered as a rookie, one that occurred in mid-August with Penny having surgery and returning in time for the September 9 season opener.
Carroll said Lockett, who has missed only one game due to injury in his eight-year career, is handling the setback, "in amazing fashion. He's concerned and all that; he's trying to get back in two weeks. That's what he said, 'I think I can get back in two weeks.'"
Asked if it was realistic for Lockett to return this season, Carroll acknowledged he was shooting from the hip a bit, then said, "There's a couple of different ways that they can do the surgery, and one of the ways gives him a chance to be back. Remember Rashaad Penny had an injury that was very similar. So they've already floated that thought and they're going to talk about all the options and all of that, and we're going to love him up and take care of him. Whatever the right thing to take care of him is what we're going to do."
However much time Lockett misses, it will be a blow for the Seahawks to lose their leading receiver, who has 78 catches for 964 yards and eight touchdowns through 14 games.
"I think it'll present us a great challenge," said quarterback Geno Smith. "Tyler Lockett is one of the better receivers in the league. He's a leader on this team, leader of this offense, and he's a guy that we rely on, that I rely on. We have guys that are willing to step up, I look forward to seeing those guys step up in their new roles. But you can never replace a guy like Tyler. He's done it for so long, he brings something to the game that not many guys can, and I'm just pulling for him to get back as soon as possible.
The Seahawks could get some receiver help soon, with Dee Eskridge possibly returning from injured reserve.
"From what I heard late this week, he's coming back around," Carroll said. "He might have a shot to help us out."
Unfortunately for the Seahawks, Lockett's injury wasn't the only one in the game, with nose tackle Bryan Mone, who was starting in place of an injured Al Woods, leaving with an ACL injury in the first quarter.
"Big Mone, he hurt his knee," Carroll said. "We can't say everything, but it's a significant knee injury… He had a legitimate knee injury. It's an ACL injury."
The Seahawks also finished the game without inside linebacker Jordyn Brooks due to a neck injury, with Tanner Muse taking over and playing significant defensive snaps for the first time with the Seahawks.
"He's got a sore neck, I'm not sure exactly what that is," Carroll said of Brooks. "We took him out because of that."
Check out some of the best action shots from Week 15 vs. the San Francisco 49ers at Lumen Field on December 15, 2022. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.