That seemingly restocked Seahawks running game is suddenly bare again.
On paper and on the field, the rushing offense romped Sunday to a season-high 152 yards, just about double what Seattle had been averaging and ranked 30th in the NFL.
But rookie running back C.J. Prosise was heading to more tests Sunday night and Monday for an injury to his shoulder blade he sustained from Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham trying to catch a short pass on the third-to-last play before halftime.
That ended Prosise’s second consecutive start of his career after four rushes for 76 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown run on his second carry.
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Prosise had 234 yards from scrimmage (142 rushing) in six quarters as Seattle’s new starting back before he got hurt.
“He’s got a scapula issue that we have to figure out. He’s going to be out a while,” coach Pete Carroll said. “And that’s too bad because you can see what we see in him and how excited we are to have him.
“He’ll have a chance to make it back (this season), but he’ll be out a while.”
Thomas Rawls returned Sunday after being out two months with a cracked fibula. He gained 57 yards on 14 carries while plowing through, rather than around, Philadelphia’s defensive line. It was the same physicality with which he ran last season as the NFL’s leader in yards per carry as an undrafted rookie, before he broke his ankle that December.
The Seahawks thought between Prosise, Rawls’ return and their promotion of preseason rushing leader Troymaine Pope they were set at running back — set enough to waive Christine Michael last week. But Pope ran twice for 3 yards then suffered a high-ankle sprain in the second half. Those injuries usually sideline players — not named Russell Wilson, that is — for multiple weeks.
“So here comes Thomas,” Carroll said, “and we’ll fit in as we go.”
Fit in, as in trying to import another back, though anyone who is available in the league around Thanksgiving isn’t exactly prime-cut meat.
Failing that, rookie Alex Collins is likely to be Rawls’ backup this upcoming Sunday at Tampa Bay (5-5) by default. The Seahawks seemed done with their fifth-round pick for the time being before Sunday’s game when they left him as a healthy inactive. At New England the previous week, Collins fumbled in his only carry, and he has 19 yards on 10 rushes in 10 games.
Seattle’s sudden need for depth again at running back became glaring in the fourth quarter against the Eagles when rookie backup quarterback Trevone Boykin lined up at tailback for one run. He lost 5 yards.
It looked as bad as that reads.
“I thought he looked good, didn’t he? Minus-8 or something on the first carry?” Carroll joked.
“That might not be where we turn our focus at this time.”
The injuries weren’t just to running backs.
Three-time All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas pulled up and grabbed his left hamstring while in double coverage with Richard Sherman on Sherman’s interception of Carson Wentz in the third quarter. Special-teams player Steven Terrell replaced him the rest of the game.
Carroll said he didn’t know how seriously Thomas was hurt. Thomas initially walked away from the training table on the Seahawks sideline before a team doctor convinced him of the value of getting more stretching and treatment.
Thomas has never missed one of the 117 games in the regular season or playoffs that he’s been in the NFL with Seattle.
Starting cornerback DeShawn Shead injured his hamstring in the first half and didn’t return. Usual nickel back Jeremy Lane replaced him, and special-teams mainstay Neiko Thorpe became the nickel, fifth defensive back.
Carroll said Shead felt the hamstring tighten for the first time during a walkthrough practice on Saturday. When he felt it again Sunday the team pulled him from the game immediately.
Undrafted rookie college basketball player George Fant made his fourth consecutive start at left tackle. He exited for part of the first half with a shoulder injury but returned.
Rookie draft choice Rees Odhiambo replaced him for a few series, but Fant said “I wanted to get back out there with my brothers.”
BALDWIN TO SPEAK AT STATE CAPITOL
Doug Baldwin has publicly challenged state attorneys general to change police training and policies in the wake of killing of minorities across the country. The Seahawks’ wide receiver has met with Seattle and other state police officers as well as Washington state’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
On Monday morning, Baldwin will speak at the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing, Joint Legislative Task Force hearing at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia. Baldwin is scheduled to talk at 9:45 a.m. during the public-comments portion of the hearing inside the John L. O’Brien House Office Building, Hearing Room A.
WEBB SINKS FARTHER
As if his diminished status wasn’t apparent already, veteran offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb was inactive Sunday even though he was healthy.
“Yep,” is all Carroll said confirming that.
Webb has yet to start a game despite being Seattle’s highest-paid lineman. He got a guaranteed $2.45 million for two years when he signed as a free agent from Oakland in March. The Seahawks haven’t used him even while former starting left tackle Bradley Sowell was out with a sprained knee. Undrafted rookie college basketball player George Fant made his fourth consecutive start for Sowell, while Webb was in street clothes.
Sowell sprained his right knee Oct. 23 at Arizona but returned to practice this week. He was also inactive, further emphasizing the left tackle is Fant’s job.
Seattle’s other inactives: Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett (arthroscopic knee surgery two weeks ago, eying a return this upcoming Sunday), linebacker and special-teams mainstay Kevin Pierre-Louis (hamstring), rookie tight end Nick Vannett, rookie backup safety Tyvis Powell and Collins.
The Seahawks’ win was Carroll’s 100th regular-season victory in the NFL. He’s the 39th coach in league history with that many wins. “I didn’t even know (until the other day),” Carroll said. … New basketball-arena investor Wilson ended his postgame press conference with his usual “Go Hawks!” and added: “SODO arena. Make it happen.”
Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle