GLENDALE, Ariz. — For those wondering if Leon Washington still can be an explosive kick returner at 30 years old, that question was answered with a resounding yes against Arizona on Sunday.
Though Washington hasnt scored on a return in 20 games, dating back to an 84-yard punt return against Carolina on December 5, 2010., he still provided two of the most explosive plays for the Seahawks, giving the team a spark.
Huge, Michael Robinson said about Washingtons returns. It totally sparked our second-half run. Thats what this teams all about one phase is down, and the other phase picks them up. It just wasnt enough today.
Midway through the third quarter, Washington broke cleanly through Seattles wedge for an 83-yard kickoff return to Arizonas 24-yard line.
Five plays later, Russell Wilson hit Sidney Rice for a 10-yard score.
Early in the fourth quarter, Washington was back at it, juking his way though Arizona players for a 54-yard punt return that set up Steven Hauschkas 39-yard field goal which gave Seattle a 16-13 lead. Washington finished with 189 return yards.
He gave us a chance, coach Pete Carroll said. He lit it up. I think that and the plays on defense gave us the real chance to be in the football game. Those were fantastic runs, and great blocking too, to go along with it.
Carroll said the replacement officials told him he still had a time out left after Doug Baldwin went down with an injury in the end zone with 47 seconds remaining and had to be attended to by Seattles medical staff on the field.
Carroll said the officials told him Seattle did not have to use its final time out on Baldwins injury because the play was an incomplete pass, which stopped the clock.
However, the officials were incorrect in making that ruling, said referee Bruce Hermansen when asked by the pool reporter after the game.
It was my error, Hermansen said. We gave them (Seattle) the additional time out of the incomplete pass stopping the clock before the injury occurred. When in effect, the clock has no bearing on the play at all, whether its stopped or running, we should not have given them the additional time out.
The play allowed Seattle to stop the clock again after Marshawn Lynch ran for 2 yards on first down and goal from Arizonas 6-yard line. Still, the Cardinals managed to keep Seattle out of the end zone.
Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt was aware officials made an incorrect ruling, but he didnt want his players to use it as an excuse.
I dont care, Whisenhunt said. We made a big thing with our team about not letting any of that affect us, and staying focused on what you have to do, and they did that.
• Carroll said that offensive tackle Russell Okung suffered a twisted knee on Seattles final drive. Baldwin got the wind knocked out of him on the diving attempt at the catch in the end zone, Carroll said. Defensive tackle Alan Branch suffered a pinched nerve in the first half, but returned to action.
• Receiver Golden Tate, cornerback Byron Maxwell, running back Kregg Lumpkin, defensive tackle Jaye Howard, defensive end Gregg Scruggs and offensive linemen James Carpenter and John Moffitt were inactive for the game.
• Seahawks offensive lineman Paul McQuistan faced his twin brother Pat McQuistan for the first time in an NFL regular-season game. Pat McQuistan was a late addition to Arizonas roster because of the injuries the Cardinals suffered on the offensive line. The brothers played together at Weber State. Paul McQuistan said he played against his brother in an exhibition game when he was with Oakland and Pat was with Dallas. Both wore No. 67 on Sunday.