RENTON — Sidney Rice’s season-ending ligament tear is an opportunity for two young receivers.
Rice tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his knee in the second quarter of Monday night’s 14-9 victory over the St. Louis Rams. At first, he and the Seahawks didn’t think the injury was severe. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests revealed the news.
“It affects us because (Rice) is a guy we’ve gone to for a number of years, who we trust the heck out of,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “It wasn’t a real violent play that took place, but it caught him exactly wrong.
“As always, this is where it calls for the next guy.”
Playing that role will be former Lakes High School and University of Washington star Jermaine Kearse. Kearse had been effective in limited duty with eight catches on 13 targets this season. He has also scored twice. He’s second on
the team in yards per catch.
“It’s unfortunate to lose Sidney,” Kearse said. “He’s a good teammate and really good friend of mine. I see this as a really good opportunity for me to showcase my talent; showcase what I can do and ways where I can help the team.”
The Seahawks put Rice on injured reserve Wednesday and moved wide receiver Ricardo Lockette from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. Wide receiver Josh Lenz was added to the practice squad.
Lockette is rangy and fast. He joined the Seahawks in 2011, when he was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Fort Valley (Ga.) State. He made two catches his rookie season, the only two of his career. It was not what he envisioned.
“I wanted to be the superstar, the big receiver that everyone knew,” Lockette said. “I wanted to make the big plays. Obviously, I wasn’t ready yet.”
He didn’t make the team in 2012 and bounced to the San Francisco 49ers, who released him Aug. 22 during training camp for this season.
The Chicago Bears added Lockette to their practice squad about a week later before waiving him Oct. 21. Now, a week after being added to Seattle’s practice squad, he’s on the 53-man roster with a chance to get on the field.
“He’s always been a high-potential guy,” Carroll said. “He’s got great speed, fantastic catching range and hands. He’s a every inexperienced player. He did not come out of college with a lot of background. He was behind, trying to catch up all the time.”
Things are easier. Lockette’s movement through other systems further brought him into NFL life. Returning to the Seahawks, where he is familiar with the system, gives him a different opportunity.
“I think I’m night and day what I was my rookie year,” Lockette said.
HARVIN NOT PRACTICING
Wide receiver Percy Harvin did not practice Wednesday and remains on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. He practiced lightly last week, his first back with the team since Aug. 1 hip surgery, and had some soreness. He remains on day-to-day status.
O-LINE HELP ON THE WAY?
Left tackle Russell Okung, who is on injured reserve, could practice Friday.
He is allowed to practice for two weeks while on injured reserve. The earliest he will be allowed to return for a game is Nov. 17 against the Vikings.
Okung injured his toe in mid-September.
Carroll said right tackle Breno Giacomini (knee) is “getting really close” and that he thinks by next week Giacomini will be “pretty active. We’ll see what that means.”
SEAHAWKS’ NEXT OPPONENT
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (0-7)
1:05 p.m. Sunday, CenturyLink Field
Against the Seahawks: This is the 12th regular-season meeting between the teams. The Seahawks lead the series 7-4. The last time the teams met, the Seahawks lost, 38-15, Dec. 26, 2010, in Tampa, Fla.
Stats and stuff: Two former University of Washington players, linebacker Mason Foster and defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, are prominent pieces for the Bucs on defense. Foster is fourth on the team in tackles and played 100 percent of the defensive snaps last week. Te’o-Nesheim has a sack and six tackles in more limited duty. Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon has thrown 181 times in four starts, an NFL record for a player in his first four games. Glennon succeeded Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson as the starting quarterback at North Carolina State – when Wilson opted for baseball over football drills, before eventually transferring to play his final season at Wisconsin. Tampa Bay presents another good defensive front for the Seahawks to deal with. It’s seventh in the league against the rush. The Bucs are 0-7 for the seventh time in franchise history. Jacksonville is the only other NFL team yet to win. Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano has come under fire for the way he has handled players. Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett played for Tampa Bay before going to Seattle last offseason. “I think he just wants to flex his power,” Bennett told NFL.com. “He has small (man’s) syndrome. I still talk to guys who are there, and trust me, there’s not much respect for him in that locker room.”
Quotable: “They’re going to be dying to get their season going.” — Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on the Buccaneers. BUCS’ SCHEDULE
Sept. 8at N.Y. JetsL, 18-17
Sept. 15New OrleansL, 16-14
Sept. 22at N. EnglandL, 23-3
Sept. 29ArizonaL, 13-10
Oct. 13PhiladelphiaL, 31-20
Oct. 20at AtlantaL, 31-23
Oct. 24SeattleL, 31-13
Dec. 1at Carolina
Dec. 15San Francisco
Dec. 22at St. Louis
Dec. 29at New Orleansblog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks