SEATTLE — Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett will have surgery to repair a broken bone in his hand and hopes to return at some point before the end of the regular season, coach Pete Carroll said Friday.
Seattle’s leading receiver broke the metacarpal bone that connects to his index finger late in the team’s 21-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night, according to Carroll.
“Very optimistic review this morning from the docs that he’s got a chance to get back quickly, and we’ll see if it can happen,” Carroll said. “… If there’s any way possible, he’ll do it, he’ll figure it out. We’ve had good success with this [surgeon] in the past and he’s been really an expert at it that can maybe pull off something that would surprise us a little bit, so we’ll see. I know that that’s what Tyler is wanting to do.”
A source told ESPN on Friday that Lockett will have the surgery soon and that he could miss as few as one game. Carroll on Friday hinted at the possibility of that quick of a return.
The Seahawks, who fell to 7-7 and are on the outside looking in at the NFC wild-card standings, will play the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Christmas Eve before closing out the regular season with home games against the New York Jets and the Los Angeles Rams.
Carroll said postgame that the injury is a spiral crack and that it’s “very similar” to the break running back Rashaad Penny suffered in training camp in 2018. Penny was injured on Aug. 13, had surgery two days later and was back for the Seahawks’ Sept. 9 opens.
Lockett’s absence will push veteran Marquise Goodwin from the No. 3 to the No. 2 role behind Metcalf. Carroll said second-year receiver Dee Eskridge is close to returning from the broken hand that landed him on injured reserve. He’s eligible to return next week.
Carroll was asked about how the Seahawks will replace Lockett if he has to miss a couple of weeks.
“You don’t replace him,” Carroll said. “He’s such an extraordinary player that we’re not going to ask guys to do the same thing and hope they do it just like Tyler does. We’re going to use our guys to their strengths, so that’s how we’ll do that . Marquise has played really well and helped us in a number of ways, and leaning on him is a good idea. Our tight ends are ready to help us at any time as well.
“So we’ll see as we get back at it. You mentioned two weeks. Who said two weeks?”
Carroll said tests revealed no structural damage in linebacker Jordyn Brooks’ neck and that he has a chance to return next week. Brooks left the 49ers game with a sore neck and did not return.
“All the pictures that they took were negative, so that’s a good sign,” he said. “But he’s got some soreness so we’re going to go through a process and try to alleviate the discomfort.”
An MRI confirmed a season-ending ACL injury for nose tackle Bryan Mone, per Carroll. Mone started Thursday night with Al Woods inactive due to an Achilles injury. Carroll said he hopes Woods can return for the Chiefs game but that they won’t know until late next week.
Running back Ken Walker III made it out of Thursday night’s game without issue after playing 48 of 64 offensive snaps in his return from an ankle injury that sidelined him the week before.
“He was a little sore today,” Carroll said, “… but the extra days are really going to help him. This is an issue that he’s dealing with that rest helps, so these three days here, the fourth day on Monday will really give him a chance to bounce back. So I don’t expect any problems with that.”
Lockett was hurt on Seattle’s last drive, Carroll said. He finished with seven catches for 68 yards, snapping his franchise-record streak of six consecutive games with a receiving touchdown. He leads the Seahawks with 964 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns, while his 78 catches are one behind DK Metcalf.
Lockett, 30, has missed only two games in eight NFL seasons, one because of a broken leg late in 2016 and the other due to COVID-19 last year.