The Seahawks must invoke “next man up” again for the NFC Championship Sunday against Green Bay at the Clink. Rookie WR Paul Richardson tore the ACL in his left knee in the third quarter of the 31-17 win over Carolina Saturday, according to reports from foxsports.com and NFL.com, and is done for the season.
ACL injuries and surgery typically requires a minimum of nine months for rehab, which jeopardizes Richardson’s ability to start the 2015 season. Richardson previously had an ACL tear in the same knee during spring practice for the 2012 season at the University of Colorado.
Richardson leaped for a pass and came down awkwardly, staying down for a minute before walking off slowly on his own.
Richardson was taken in the second round (45th overall) and played 15 games. He had 29 catches, 271 yards and a touchdown. Saturday he caught one ball for 21 yards and had 10 catches in the previous two games.
He replaced traded WR Percy Harvin in the lineup as well as on kickoffs, where he had 16 returns for 376 yards and a long of 47. His likely replacement in the lineup will be another rookie, Kevin Norwood. Doug Baldwin may be the kick returner.
Two other health issues concern the Seahawks. One is CB Byron Maxwell, who played only on special teams after being sick during the week of practice.
“There’s chest complications with the cold that he had, or something’s going on,” Carroll said after the game. “I was kind of surprised he couldn’t rally (for the game). We went in thinking he would be able to go.”
He was replaced by second-year CB Tharold Simon, who was basically lit up by Carolina’s offense.
The other injury was C Max Unger, who rolled the same ankle that was previously injured and kept him out the previous six weeks. Unger walked off without a limp late in the game.
“He felt pretty good once he got into the locker room,” Carroll said. “Maybe it’s just a scare. We’ll see.”