RENTON Tyler Lockett is expected to return from his broken leg in time for training camp next summer.
Thomas Rawls’ bruised shoulder isn’t likely to keep him from being Seattle’s lead back on Sunday at San Francisco.
Oh, yeah, Pete Carroll had one more thing to say Monday: He’s not what most of you are.
He’s not alarmed.
That’s what the coach said two days after his Seahawks splatted on Christmas Eve. Their 34-31 loss to Arizona left the home fans booing, leaving CenturyLink Field early -- and fretting the NFC West champions’ upcoming postseason won’t last long.
“It’s quite obvious we missed a big opportunity in the ball game this weekend. We’re really disappointed in that,” Carroll said. “It’s clear that we didn’t play well enough coming out of the chute.
“Very difficult to take.”
But, when I asked him if the fact it’s days from New Year’s Eve and the Seahawks (9-5-1) still don’t have the consistency a division winner and playoff-bound team should, Carroll shook his head.
“I don’t think it’s alarming; I just think it’s what we’re working with,” he said.
“Obviously, it’s going to be really difficult to expect us to play a great game until we do. You want to see that; I know that’s what you’re waiting for.
(He was speaking to you there, by the way, not me).
“We’re counting on our guys to be able to play off one another,” Carroll said, “and play off the defense and how they’re playing and special teams and put together good games.”
It would go a lot better if they could get some consistency in Sunday’s regular-season finale at San Francisco (2-13). On offense early in games. On defense late. With the running game. With the pass defense in the middle void without injured Earl Thomas. In the kicking game.
“This one coming up is hugely important for us,: Carroll said, “to find some rhythm that goes from start to finish and play complementary football like we have for a good part of the year.”
Rawls got his third injury in 12-plus months on Saturday. A bruised shoulder kept him out of the second half, and led to rookie Alex Collins’ most productive day as a Seahawk: seven carries for 28 yards, plus four catches for 19 yards. But Collins fell down on a low pass from Russell Wilson on third and 2 with just over 5 minutes left when Seattle was down 28-18. Wilson got hit for the 13th time in the game on his next pass, incomplete on fourth down. Arizona converted that turnover on downs into a field goal for a 31-18 lead.
Sounds like it will be Rawls, not Collins, as lead man against the 49ers.
“He has an afternoon MRI (Monday). I don’t have the results of that,” Carroll said. “He thought he was OK, though. He felt OK when I visited with him.”
Carroll said Lockett was to stay in the hospital into Tuesday, and that he felt better Monday than he did the previous day. The second-year wide receiver and 2015 Pro Bowl kick returner had overnight surgery into Sunday morning after breaking the tibia and fibula in his right leg Saturday while he completed a catch at the goal line against the Cardinals.
The injury was so bloody and traumatic to Lockett and his teammates fellow wide receiver Doug Baldwin got on both knees and prayed with Lockett as Lockett was on his back getting an air cast applied to his leg.
Asked if Lockett would return in time for training camp that begins in late July, Carroll said: "Yeah, sounds like it.
"Really, all indications are if everything goes as it is supposed to she be in pretty good shape and he’ll have a chance to come back, really, without question (by training camp).
"There’s always that opportunity for complications and stuff. But the extraordinary worker that he is, his attitude, his mentality, will lead to indications that he should be able to come roaring back."
Lockett had surgery Saturday night to stabilize his lower right leg. The procedure ended around 4 a.m. Christmas Day.
"The surgery went exceptionally well," Carroll said. "He has a real chance to get back moving four to six weeks from now, and work his way back in a few months and have a chance to get himself going.
"He absolutely, positively optimistic about all of that. All he could do is ask about everybody else. He wants to know how everybody else is doing. … Classic Lockett."
With Lockett gone for the season, wide receiver Paul Richardson and recently signed J.D. McKissic will get chances as the fill-in kickoff returner and maybe the punt returner. Richard Sherman was also back deep to field a punt in the fourth quarter Saturday, two quarters after Lockett broke his leg.
“Fortunately Paul jumped in and looked pretty good back there,” Carroll said. “And we’ve used him in the past and he’s done some good stuff. So that gives us a chance. We’ll take a look at McKissic and see how he does. That’s one of the areas we thought he might be able to help us back up, so we’ll see how that goes this week.”
In the backfield, the Seahawks need Rawls to return Sunday. C.J. Prosise, the rookie who starred in his first career start last month at New England then broke his shoulder blade, is still a week or so away from an evaluation to see if he can return in the postseason.
The loss to the Cardinals did more than deny the Seahawks their fourth-ever undefeated regular season at home. It likely will mean Seattle plays on the first weekend of the postseason, Jan. 7 or 8, at home against a wild-card team. That is rather than having a first-round bye that would leave them one home playoff win from the NFC title game.
The Seahawks need to beat the 49ers on Sunday -- plus have both South division-champion Atlanta lose to New Orleans (7-8).
The other happening Seattle needed was Detroit losing once. That happened Monday night when Dallas beat the Lions 42-21.
“We got one big game coming up and we’ll know where we are after this week. And nobody knows right now,” Carroll said. “We’ll see what happens. We got to win our game and take care of business and we’ll see where that leaves us. And then, away we go.
“Then, it’s the new season. And we’ll see how that goes.”