Seahawks' Rashaad Penny suffers 'significant' ACL injury during ugly loss to Rams

Things didn't go as planned for the Seattle Seahawks in Week 14, to say the least. Not only were they soundly thumped by the rival Los Angeles Rams on "Sunday Night Football" with a 28-12 final score in a game the Rams dominated from the outset, but they also lost a key weapon in the process.

Rashaad Penny, the team's speedster running back, left the game early with a knee injury suffered when his left leg landed awkwardly as he planted while being tackled. The Seahawks wasted no time ruling him out of the remainder of the contest, a clear indication the injury was not a small one. While there are more tests to be run to determine the full extent of the damage, preliminary results are far from promising. 

It sounds like the Seahawks will be without Penny for quite a while. 

"He's he got an ACL sprain and we don't know how serious it is, but it's significant," head coach Pete Carroll said after the game.

His timetable for return remains in the air. Carroll's comments hint at Penny being unavailable for the final few games of the regular season -- if not longer -- but time will tell if the ominous tone is well-founded. For his part, Penny himself didn't sound optimistic either when he took to social media after suffering the injury, with a message that doesn't come across as someone hopeful and readying to possibly return in a week or two.

The foreboding tone continued with quarterback Russell Wilson.

"Well obviously it's disappointing losing Penny," Wilson told media after the game. "I feel for him. He's such a great competitor. He's been tremendous the past several weeks, so that's just unfortunate. 

"It's part of the game unfortunately. I got to talk to him afterward and he had his head up. He's looking forward to where he's going next and just fighting through the rehab of it all and we'll be right there with him, but yeah, it was tough when you lose one of your key players -- a guy that you love to play with like Penny."

The Seahawks would love to get some positive news from Penny's next round of tests that will include an MRI, and it's no secret why. The former first-round pick is having a solid season as a rotational weapon in the Seahawks halfback unit, routinely used to punish linebackers and defensive backs who struggle to tackle well in space. His 58-yard touchdown run in the team's Week 12 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles is a prime example of what he brings to the table -- a speedy complementary piece to Chris Carson.

Penny was clocked on the 58-yard score as the fastest Seahawks player in 2019 at 20.78 mph, and if he is set to miss any time at all, he'll be a challenge to replace. His 373 rushing yards and three touchdowns are second-most on the team in both categories, with the latter already being a career-high for the second-year half back.

Currently on pace to also log a career-best rushing yard tally, Penny is hoping he can return to the field sooner than later to help a potent Seahawks team made more so by his presence, but all he can do is wait for what comes next, and hope for the best.

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