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Rashaad Penny suffers 'significant' ACL sprain in loss

Seattle lost more than a game and a chance to clinch a playoff berth on Sunday night. It might have lost one of its rising offensive weapons for the stretch run, as well.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll confirmed to reporters that second-year running back Rashaad Penny suffered an ACL sprain in their 28-12 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

"We don't know how serious it is, but it's significant," Carroll explained.

Penny was knocked out of the game on Seattle's first drive after he picked up a first down on a 16-yard reception. From there, Chris Carson carried the load, as he has for most of the season, for 76 yards on 15 carries, but Seattle finished the loss with just 106 rushing yards, its lowest total since Week 7, the last time the Seahawks (10-3) dropped a game.

If Penny is to miss perhaps the remainder of the regular season, it would be a setback for an offense that was learning to rely on him. After a slow start to his career in Seattle, Penny logged the two best games of his short career in the last two weeks, totaling over 100 yards from scrimmage in Weeks 12 and 13 and forming a dynamic duo with Carson.

Carroll intimated after the game that Seattle could move forward with a backfield of Carson, C.J. Prosise and seldom-used Travis Homer. Carson is in the midst of a second-straight 1,000-yard season, but Prosise and Homer have combined this season for just 23 offensive touches this year. On an offense devoid of reliable play-makers outside of Carson and Tyler Lockett, the loss of Penny removes some element of surprise and juice from Seattle's attack.

"It's disappointing losing Penny," Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said after the game. "I feel for him. He's such a great competitor and has been tremendous the past several weeks.

"But I got to talk to him afetrwards and he had his head up. He's looking forward to where he's going next and fighting through the rehab of it all. We'll be right there with him."

Added Carson of Penny, "He has a quick turnaround with his mindset, so he knows that he's going to get back right and that he's going to overcome this."

There is no firm timetable at the moment on Penny's possible return, but reading the tea leaves from Seattle's locker room and Penny's own Twitter account, it appears the Seahawks will be without the 2018 first-round pick for quite some time and well worse for it.

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