CHICAGO - The Seattle Seahawks' 11-point loss to Chicago left them battered and bruised.
Tight end John Carlson and cornerback Marcus Trufant suffered the most serious injuries.
Carlson went down awkwardly along the sideline on the first play of Seattle’s second drive. Carlson tried to hurdle Chicago safety Danieal Manning for some extra yards after a 14-yard gain, but came crashing down on his head and stayed on his stomach for several minutes as Seattle’s trainers attended to him.
Carlson was placed on a backboard and carted off the field. He had feeling in his extremities, but did not return.
Trufant also suffered a head injury, his second of the season, in the third quarter. He banged his head on Chicago tight end Kellen Davis’ knee and fell to the ground, laying motionless on his back as doctors attended to him.
He was placed on a backboard and carted off the field. He also had feeling in his extremities.
Carroll said both players have serious concussions and would stay at a local hospital in Chicago overnight, but indications are that both are OK and did not suffer other injuries.
But the plays had an effect on the mindset of the players, and were representative of the physical nature of the game.
“It was very hard-hitting game, and it was a difficult game on both sides,” Carroll said. “Our guys got banged up a little more than their guys did.”
Fullback Michael Robinson suffered a big hit from Chicago cornerback Charles Tillman that forced him to stay on the ground for a while. He eventually got up and left the field on his own power, but suffered a rib injury.
Receiver Ben Obomanu appeared to re-injure his dislocated shoulder in the fourth quarter, but returned to the game just like he did the week before. Marshawn Lynch (shoulder), Justin Forsett (ankle) and Cameron Morrah (toe) also sustained injuries in the game.
With Carlson and Morrah out, Seattle had no tight ends available and had to use more four- and five-receiver sets.
The lack of a tight end also affected Seattle’s running game.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (43 yards) rushed for more yards than the Seahawks’ offense (34 yards).
“Obviously in our run game, short yardage, goal line and all of those situations we no longer had any of those,” said Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, talking about how having no tight ends affected the team’s play calling. “We got a big, giant call sheet, and it took it down to just a corner of it.”
The first time the two met, Seahawks rookie offensive tackle Russell Okung – with the help of a tight end, and a running back chip blocking – kept All-Pro defensive end Julius Peppers out of the backfield, helping to hold the Bears without a sack in his team’s 23-20 victory earlier this season.
But Sunday was different. The Bears had versatile outside linebacker Lance Briggs and blitzed more, and with Carlson and Morrah out, Okung was left out on an island more.
The result was more consistent pressure by Peppers on Hasselbeck. He still finished without a sack, but he did force a holding penalty by Okung that negated a Seattle first down.
He also helped create pressure that resulted in Hasselbeck being sacked twice by defensive tackle Tommie Harris.
“Obviously, I didn’t do well enough,” Okung said. “We lost today. I think everybody can say they needed to play better today, just because they beat us, and they beat us in all phases. But he’s a great player. Hat’s off to him.”
Seattle linebacker David Hawthorne and Chicago safety Manning were teammates in high school in Corsicana, Texas, just outside Dallas. Manning was three years older ... Hasselbeck finished 26 of 46 for 258 yards and three touchdowns, but a lot of that came in garbage time with the Bears experimenting in anticipation of next week’s game against Green Bay. ... Seattle’s defense gave up six plays of 20 or more yards to Chicago’s offense.