Rookie running back Thomas Rawls suffered a fractured ankle Sunday and will miss the rest of the season, coach Pete Carroll told the media. Rawls was hurt on Seattle's opening drive, limping off for the locker room after being stuffed behind the line on a second-down attempt.
Rawls walked off the field with trainers after plowing for 44 yards at 7.3 yards per carry against Baltimore's injury-ravaged defense.
The undrafted Rawls has been sensational this season, stepping in for injured veteran Marshawn Lynch to lead the club with 786 yards at a generous 5.6 yards per tote. Rawls has started just seven games for Seattle in 2015, but went into Sunday's contest ranked 10th in the league in rushing.
His absence amounts to a major loss for a Seattle offense that has leaned hard on Rawls all autumn. Since the rookie became the starter in Week 11, Russell Wilson has tossed for 16 touchdowns and led the team to four straight wins. There was even talk that Rawls could be a Rookie of the Year contender, thanks to his job in turning around Seattle's fortunes.
Now the future is foggy in the Emerald City. Seattle is in control of its playoff destiny, but will have to push on without its young spark plug.
Here are other notable injuries from Sunday:
- Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton suffered a fractured thumb during the first quarter of Sunday's loss to the Steelers and will not play next week against the 49ers, coach Marvin Lewis said after the game. Television cameras caught the quarterback wearing a cast on his right hand as he stood on the sideline during the second quarter. Dalton said he will see a hand specialist Monday.
- Panthers tight end Greg Olsen suffered a knee injury during the closing seconds of the first half against the Falcons and did not return. Olsen's injury did not appear serious as he stood on the sideline watching the game in the second half with the Panthers enjoying a sizable lead. Coach Ron Rivera said after the game that the tight end "should be fine."