RENTON Chris Carson’s long road back begins now.
So does the figuring out of who will replace him as lead rusher.
The Seahawks announced Tuesday their rookie running back had successful surgery to repair his left ankle.
Coach Pete Carroll said after his lead runner got hurt late in Sunday night’s win over Indianapolis that the seventh-round pick from Oklahoma State had a serious high-ankle sprain. The surgery likely repaired damaged ligaments above that joint.
Carson is also healing a fracture in his left leg below the knee, though Carroll said that’s the lesser of his two injuries.
Carson went on injured reserve Monday. Carroll said it was an "outside chance," at best, that he could return this season. NFL rules allow each team to bring back up to two IR players after they are on the list for eight weeks.
Thomas Rawls is preparing to go from a healthy inactive for the first time in his three-season career last weekend to angry to lead back Sunday against the NFC West-leading Rams in Los Angeles.
Rawls was Seattle’s lead back at the end of his 2015 rookie season, before he broke his ankle. He was the lead runner last season, who then cracked his fibula and missed seven games. And he was the lead back entering the preseason two months ago, then got a high-ankle sprain and missed a month. He’s played one snap in the last two games. He hasn’t touched the ball since Sept. 17, against San Francisco, when he had his only five carries and 4 yards of this season so far.
How’s he handling not even getting to be in uniform last weekend, even though he’s finally healthy?
“He’s handling it admirably, but he’s frustrated because he wants to play,” Carroll said. “Like I tell you always, I wouldn’t want it any other way. He wants to go. It’s looked like we had a number of guys there at the running back spot and we were trying to decide how we were going to handle this and it was uncomfortable to not have Eddie (Lacy) up (for the week-two win over San Francisco), or not have Thomas up, because those guys are ballers and they need to be playing.
“But here it is and now they will be going side by side, battling.”
Lacy had his best game and most sustained action as a Seahawk in the victory over the Colts: 11 carries for 52 yards. That was 10 more yards on one fewer carry than Carson had before he got hurt when his leg buckled under him while getting tackled in the fourth quarter.
“I really liked the way that Eddie did (Sunday),” Carroll said. “I thought he looked great, maxed out his opportunities and looks like it’s going to be a real nice fit for us. We are excited about that.”