RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks will be without All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas for the rest of the season due to his broken lower left leg, no matter how far the team advances in the playoffs.
Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that further examination determined Thomas' fractured left tibia will require a recovery time that does not allow for the possibility of a return during the 2016 season. Carroll said after Sunday's 40-7 win over Carolina that Thomas' injury usually takes a minimum of six weeks of recovery time.
“He’s got a serious recovery that he’s going to have to go through, it’s going to take a while,” said Carroll, who later added that there’s “no shot” of Thomas getting back this season.
It's the first major injury of Thomas' career. He played 106 straight games before missing Seattle's loss at Tampa Bay last week with a hamstring injury. He quickly recovered to play against the Panthers, but was hurt in a second-quarter collision with teammate Kam Chancellor going for an interception.
Carroll said that Steven Terrell will take over Thomas' free safety, but noted that no one can truly replace "the very unique" Thomas.
Terrell, who has been with the Seahawks since 2014, started his first game in the Week 12 loss to Tampa Bay. "Steven has played in three games now," Carroll said. "We’re very confident in him."
After his devastating injury, Thomas sent out a tweet that suggested he might be considering retirement.
Carroll said Thomas is going through the emotions of a very serious injury. “He seems to be doing OK," Carroll said. "He’s handling it. He’s trying to deal with it right now.”
ESPN's Ed Werder sent out a tweet late Monday that indicated Thomas is still undecided about his future.