By John Boyle Herald Writer
SEATTLE — A high-ankle sprain is rarely good news for an athlete, but in the case of Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson, that’s a welcome diagnosis.
After catching a short pass early in the fourth quarter, Willson was hit low by Rams safety Rodney McLeod, and after initially starting to hobble back to the sideline, the rookie tight end went down to the ground. Not long after Seattle’s medical staff arrived, a cart came out and an air cast was put on Willson’s leg, usually a sign of a broken leg or ankle.
So it was a welcome sight for the Seahawks to see Willson without a cast, walking under his own power through the locker room after the game.
“We heard that he did not break his ankle,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “That’s really good news. He has a high ankle sprain is what we think we know right now.”
Of course a high-ankle sprain is plenty serious in its own right, and potentially could keep Willson out for the rest of the season, but at least that diagnosis will give him a shot at returning in the postseason.
Making Willson’s injury all the more frustrating for Seattle was that it happened one play after officials blew dead what would have been a huge catch for Willson. On that play, Rams defensive end Williams Hayes was called for a neutral zone infraction. Russell Wilson, thinking he had a free play, took a deep shot to Willson, who made one-handed catch and appeared headed for a 77-yard score before hearing the whistles. One play later, Willson was injured.
“There must have been contact that was made when they came across,” Carroll said. “I don’t know, I didn’t see it, but that was something we were trying to take advantage of. The throw was so cool and the catch was cool. It would have been awesome to hit that one, but they blew it dead.”
The only other injuries Carroll reported was a groin strain for defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, who did not finish the game, and shoulder injury for Jeremy Lane, who took a hard hit from teammate Kam Chancellor, but did stay in the game.
On Mebane, Carroll said, “It wasn’t bad, but he’ll be able to use this (bye) week to get back.”