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Sports >  Seattle Seahawks

Notebook: Tyler Lockett injured in Seahawks last-second loss to Cardinals

Seattle Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett, right, tumbles to the turf and injures his right left as Arizona Cardinals’ Brandon Williams tackles him in the first half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in Seattle. Lockett said this week he hopes to be ready for the start of training camp in the fall. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
Seattle Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett, right, tumbles to the turf and injures his right left as Arizona Cardinals’ Brandon Williams tackles him in the first half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in Seattle. Lockett said this week he hopes to be ready for the start of training camp in the fall. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
By Gregg Bell Tacoma News Tribune

SEATTLE – Tyler Lockett crumpled to the turf across the goal line. He held onto the ball as his right leg snapped.

Quarterback Russell Wilson ran to his zooming receiver, believing he had just caught a touchdown pass from him that would have had the Seahawks back within 14-7 of Arizona. Given how awful Saturday’s first half was for Seattle, that was a huge accomplishment.

But when Wilson got to Lockett, it was horrifying.

At first I when I got there, there was blood everywhere on his ankle,” Wilson said. “That was kind of an ugly situation.”

That suggests a compound fracture.

What Doug Baldwin did next suggests it was indeed that serious.

Baldwin was on both knees tapping the turf and hugging his fellow wide receiver around his neck. That was while Lockett was on his back in the end zone and trainers pumped an air cast around his right leg below the knee.

“We were praying,” Baldwin said.

Coach Pete Carroll confirmed following the Seahawks’ 34-31 loss to the Cardinals that Lockett’s second NFL season is over and the 2015 Pro Bowl kick returner is going to have surgery.

“Our thoughts are with him,” Carroll said.

“It’s a tough game,” Wilson said of football in general, not this bad loss Saturday – in more ways than one. “Tyler is such a special player, such a special person.

“Obviously, it’s tough to lose a great player, and a great fiend, in Tyler Lockett.”

Lockett was coming off a breakout game the previous week: seven catches for 130 yards and his first touchdown of the season in the rout of the Los Angeles Rams. He had been zooming again, finally back from battling a sprained knee from 2 1/2 months earlier this season. He was poised to add a dimension – deep speed – that the Seahawks have struggled without most of this season.

Now, Jermaine Kearse likely moves back to the No. 2 wide receiver job he had until Lockett moved past him this month. Paul Richardson gets his chance as the No. 3, a chance he seized with two key catches and runs late, including the tying touchdown with 1 minute left.

Kearse-Wilson trust

Kearse was booed for his league-leading sixth penalty this season for offensive pass interference on Seattle’s first play of its awful first half.

It was the sixth time this season Kearse has been penalized for offensive pass interference this season, and the fifth time an opponent accepted the foul. That’s the most OPIs in the league.

But Kearse got the Seahawks back in the game in the third quarter with a catch for his many critics.

On third and goal, Kearse leaped while covered tightly and caught Wilson’s loft on a fade route to the back, right corner of the end zone. Kearse stayed inbounds with an alert knee slide inside the boundary while clutching his first touchdown pass since his two scores last January in Seattle’s playoff loss at Carolina.

The Seahawks’ first touchdown in seven-plus quarters this season against the Cardinals got Seattle within 14-10.

Arizona had allowed 48 points in a home loss to New Orleans the previous weekend.

Again – like in the miraculous comeback to win the NFC title game over Green Bay at the end of the 2014 season, like in last season’s rally from 31-0 down to within 31-24 in that playoff loss at the Panthers – Wilson threw to Kearse when he absolutely needed a completion. The trust those two have since they were playing pitch-and-catch together on the sidelines during rookie minicamps in 2012 is unbreakable.

“He trusts to throw me the ball, and he trusts that I am going to make a play – no matter the situation,” Kearse said.

“It’s been a humbling year for me,” the former Lakes High School and University of Washington wide receiver acknowledged, weeks after he’d been demoted to No. 3 wide receiver.

Extra points

Lead back Thomas Rawls has a bruised shoulder, Carroll said. He didn’t play in the second half. Formerly mothballed rookie Alex Collins had his best Seahawks performance, running decisively for 28 yards on seven carries and adding four catches for 19 yards. … Bobby Wagner owns the Seahawks’ single-season record for tackles. The middle linebacker who just got named to his third Pro Bowl had 10 stops on Saturday for 156 this season. Seattle’s previous record was 153 by Terry Beeson in 1978. Wagner said the mark shows hard work in the offseason pays off. … Seattle-native Nate Burleson, who played at O’Dea High School just up the hill from CenturyLink Field, raised the “12th Man” flag high above the south end zone just before kickoff. He was wearing his old, blue, No. 81 home jersey he wore while a Seahawk from 2006-09.

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