In coverage on a pass across the middle, Seattle Seahawks All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas leapt for an interception and collided legs with Kam Chancellor before staying down on the turf for an extended time. Thomas was afterward carried off the field and carted into the X-ray room for examination, according to reports. UPDATE: He later emerged on crutches. NFL.com reporter Ian Rapoport says Thomas broke his leg.
#Seahawks S Earl Thomas suffered a broken bone in his leg in the first half, sources say. He's out indefinitely. Brutal injury.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 5, 2016
Thomas appeared to secure the ball until the last moments of the play, when the contact with Chancellor’s thigh caused him to spin around and twist awkwardly to the turf. Last week Thomas, a Seahawks 2010 first round draft pick, missed the first start of his seven-year career with a hamstring strain suffered against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Seattle defense had been shutting out Cam Newton and the Panthers before the injury. On the next play Newton found Ted Ginn, Jr., on a 55-yard touchdown right into the deep zone usually patrolled by Thomas. Thomas’s replacement is Steven Terrell.
Check back for further updates.
This game has been so good to me no regrets.. A lot is running through my mind including retirement thanks for all the prayers.— Earl Thomas (@Earl_Thomas) December 5, 2016
Thomas posted a tweet during the game indicating the severity if the injury, while recognizing how many emotions are running through his mind—not to mention likely adrenaline and painkillers in his body. Hopefully, whether sooner or later, Thomas makes a full recovery to play football again for Seattle. He later added a post joking Kam Chancellor owes him a steak.
Thomas Rawls also exited the field, apparently to be checked for concussion, shortly before half, but Rawls returned for the Seahawks offense immediately after halftime.