Seahawks’ Luke Willson may need surgery on knee, Pete Carroll says
Update: Seahawks tight end Luke Willson tweeted Tuesday morning a picture of himself lying in a hospital bed with a caption saying, “The healing started today.”
— Luke Willson (@LWillson_82) October 18, 2016
RENTON – Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett escaped serious injury when he hurt his knee during the team’s win over Atlanta on Sunday, but the same wasn’t true for tight end Luke Willson. Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that tests revealed some cartilage damage and “stretched ligaments” in Willson’s knee, mentioning the MCL and saying that surgery may be required. Carroll said the team will have a better idea about that in the next few days.
“Luke’s got some stuff that we’ve got to work on,” Carroll said. “We’ve got to figure out what to do with him.”
Willson was hurt in the fourth quarter when Christine Michael fell into his knee on his second touchdown run. He stayed down then had to be helped off the field, walking with his head down.
As Seattle’s No. 2 tight end behind Jimmy Graham, Willson has caught six passes on 12 targets for 50 yards while also taking on an additional role as a fullback since the Seahawks released Will Tukuafu after Week 2. Brandon Williams and rookie Nick Vannett are the other two tight ends on Seattle’s roster. Vannett made his NFL debut Sunday after missing the first four games with a high-ankle sprain.
Bennett, meanwhile, was hurt in the third quarter Sunday when his knee was hyper-extended by a cut-block from Falcons tackle Jake Matthews. Bennett didn’t return to the game.
He said afterward that initial indications were that it was nothing major. Carroll confirmed that Monday, saying, “He’s doing pretty good. His tests and stuff came out clear. He just got banged on his knee.”
Bennett was irate about the play, not mincing words after the game in calling it dirty on Matthews’ part. But Carroll didn’t think anything of it.
“It was just a cut block. The guy cut him. It was clean,” Carroll said. “Nobody wants to get hit in the legs, but it wasn’t a dirty play or anything like that. It wasn’t illegal. He just didn’t like it.”
Carroll told “Brock and Salk” earlier Monday that strong safety Kam Chancellor has a good chance of returning this week after missing Sunday’s game with a slight groin pull, but he stopped short of assuring it. He said Monday afternoon that Chancellor “feels a lot better today and we’ll just have to go day by day and figure that out.”
Carroll is optimistic about defensive end Frank Clark returning this week after missing Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury.
“Frank Clark ran really well on game day, he was really close to playing. He just didn’t quite have the strength that he needed to kind of complete the exam where we could put him out there knowing he’d be safe,” Carroll said. “He’ll be fine. We need to get through without setbacks, but he should be raring to go this week.”
Carroll was even more certain about defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson, who had surgery over the bye week on his injured hand. Carroll said he’ll definitely back this week and added: “We’re excited to get him back. He’ll be out of the cast, too. He’ll have his fingers available and all that. He played with a Q-tip for a while there, so he’ll be back in action.”
Carroll said last week that running back C.J. Prosise wouldn’t play Sunday with an eye toward returning this week, but he didn’t seem so sure of that on Monday. Prosise was supposed to be Seattle’s third-down back but hasn’t played since breaking a bone in his hand in the opener, though he’s been practicing for several weeks.
“We’ll see on Wednesday,” Carroll said. “I’m really hoping that this is his week he can get back. Like I’ve been saying, he’s been practicing, so he’s ready to go. It’s just a matter of if he’s safe, and we think he’s really approaching that time now. It would be great to get him.”