Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls breaks ankle, out for the season

Dec 13, 2015, 10:41 AM | Updated: Dec 14, 2015, 10:23 am
A broken ankle on Sunday ended Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls’ breakout rookie season. (A...
A broken ankle on Sunday ended Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls' breakout rookie season. (AP)
(AP)

BALTIMORE – The Seahawks won an important game on Sunday, but may have lost an even more meaningful player.

Thomas Rawls suffered a broken left ankle in the first quarter on Sunday when he was tackled on a 3-yard loss. It was a disappointing end to a promising game for Rawls, who gained 47 yards on his first five carries, and the injury will also end his season, according to coach Pete Carroll as Rawls also suffered torn ligaments.

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“The torn ligaments are really the problem,” Carroll said. “I don’t think he’s going to have to have an operation at all from what I understand. But it’s substantial.”

Rawls walked off the field after the injury with a limp. After the game, he was in a plastic protective boot and using crutches. A golf cart was used to take him from the locker room to the team bus.

Carroll could offer no timeline for his recovery.

It’s a disappointing injury for Rawls, an undrafted running back who had already rushed for more than 100 yards in four different games this season. His 209 yards rushing against San Francisco four weeks ago was the second-biggest single-game total in franchise history. He ranked second among all rookies in rushing yards entering the week.

So what’s Seattle going to do at running back?

On Sunday, the answer was to promote DuJuan Harris into the role. Next week?

“Wait and see,” Carroll said. “Let’s see how we’ll figure that out.”

That will start by figuring out where Marshawn Lynch is at in his recovery from abdominal surgery. He underwent the surgery on Nov. 24, which means he’s almost three weeks into the recovery. Lynch was back at the team’s headquarters on Wednesday.

“We’ll see how Marshawn does,” Carroll said. “He’s 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 will be the next thing we’ll look forward to and see how it works. In the meantime, we’ll figure it out.”

The Seahawks let go of two former draft picks before the season started, waiving Robert Turbin with the designation he was injured and trading Christine Michael to Dallas. Michael was released by the Cowboys, and is now on Washington’s practice squad while Turbin is now in Dallas after a stint with Cleveland.

Rookie Rod Smith, who Seattle added to its regular-season roster earlier this season when Lynch was sidelined by a hamstring injury, was claimed off waivers by the Cowboys.

The Seahawks have won four consecutive games, but Rawls’ injury is the third to a significant player on the offense starting with Lynch’s abdominal injury and continuing with tight end Jimmy Graham’s season-ending knee injury two weeks ago against Pittsburgh.

Rawls was not available to answer questions.

“Thomas has had a fantastic rookie season for us,” Carroll said. “Just exemplifies what we’re all about. Toughness and hard-nosed and committed and 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.”

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