The Seattle Seahawks will march into January with one of their better defensive players watching from afar.
Coach Pete Carroll told reporters Monday that outside linebacker K.J. Wright will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a fracture in his foot. The procedure will keep the third-year starter out of the lineup for four to six weeks.
"We'll find out more after (the surgery)," Carroll said, per ESPN.com's Terry Blount. "It's usually six weeks for broken bones, but he's a good healer."
The Seahawks haven't placed Wright on injured reserve, leaving a glimmer of hope he could make it back for the playoffs or -- if destiny smiles on Seattle -- the Super Bowl. In Wright's place, third-year pro Malcolm Smith will fill the void.
It's a tangible loss for the Seahawks. Wright has graded out as this season's 10th-best 4-3 outside linebacker, per Pro Football Focus, and he shines in pass coverage. Still, Seattle has done an outstanding job under Carroll with a "next-man-up" approach to injuries. We've seen that in the secondary, and we don't expect the NFC's best team to skip a beat.