KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Alvin Pearman, emerging as a valuable special teams player for the Seattle Seahawks, will miss the rest of this season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Pearman, a third-year player signed just before the season, will have surgery once the swelling goes down, coach Mike Holmgren said. Pearman was hurt in a pileup at the end of a special teams play during Sunday's 23-3 victory at San Francisco, which gave Seattle (3-1) early control of the NFC West.
He has played on kick coverage and returned three kickoffs this season.
"We are looking right now, as we speak, for someone to come in and replace him," Holmgren said. "Right now, he was kind of a unique guy and a very good special teams player. We'll see (about the impact).
"It's too bad. He was playing well."
Josh Wilson, the team's top draft choice in April who had three kickoff returns and was trying to break into the defensive secondary as a nickel back, will probably miss one-to-two weeks with an ankle injury.
Holmgren said he didn't know who would return kickoffs Sunday at Pittsburgh (3-1). Nate Burleson, who helped win the opening game against Tampa Bay with a 56-yard punt return, has also returned two kickoffs this season. Fellow wide receiver Ben Obomanu, who ran back a kickoff 22 yards against the 49ers, could also be a candidate.
Another special teamer, offensive lineman Ray Willis, will likely miss six weeks with a sprained knee. Holmgren said Willis, who was competing early in training camp for a starting job at right guard or right tackle, was blocking during a kick when someone hit him.
Running back Shaun Alexander is playing despite a cracked left wrist. The cast was smaller during the game at San Francisco, in which Alexander carried 25 times for 78 yards, but Holmgren said Alexander will continue to wear it indefinitely.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press