Seattle’s leading receiver broke a bone in his index finger late in the team’s 21-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night. The team is still trying to determine the best course of action, coach Pete Carroll said, and it might be Lockett having surgery with the hope of returning at some point this season.
Carroll said 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 opener.
Carroll said Lockett believes he can return in two weeks.
“There’s a couple different ways that they can do the surgery,” Carroll said. “One of the ways gives him a chance to be back. Remember Rashaad Penny … had an injury similar, very similar. So they’ve already floated that thought and they’re going to talk about all the options and all that and we’re going to love him up and take care of him. Whatever the right thing to do to take care of him, we’re going to do.”
Carroll said Lockett will need surgery at some point but didn’t confirm that it will be right away, saying the receiver isn’t “really fired up” about that option.
The Seahawks also lost nose tackle Bryan Mone to what Carroll called a “significant” ACL injury. He didn’t have an update on linebacker Jordyn Brooks, who was pulled from the game in the second half because of a sore neck.
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.
“I can’t fathom playing without Tyler,” Carroll said. “I got a chance to hang with him, just to try to express what it’s like to be working with a guy like this for so long. He’s such an incredible player. He’s not in tremendous pain. He’s got a broken hand. You feel sorry for him, but he’s such a magnificent football player and a member of the team and member of the community and our area and our fans … that we’re gonna miss the heck out of him for whatever he misses.”
Lockett is in his first season as an offensive captain.
“It sucks,” said safety Quandre Diggs, one of Lockett’s closest friends on the Seahawks. “Especially a guy like that gives it his all. The things that he does for the organization, that he does for this team, he’s one of the vocal leaders, he’s a captain for a reason. He’s done it for a long time. He’s somebody that I have a hell of a lot of respect for. I’ll be there for him, of course.”
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.
The 49ers’ win clinched the NFC West and gave the Seahawks their fourth loss in five games following a 6-3 start. They’re currently one spot out of the NFC playoff standings, behind the Washington Commanders (7-5-1) and New York Giants (7-5-1) in wild-card seeding.