RENTON -- The Seahawks will be without linebacker Mychal Kendricks for the rest of the season due to a knee injury sustained in his first game back from suspension Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings.
"Mychal is going on IR," head coach Pete Carroll said. "He needs to get work done on his knee. He got caught in a situation, just got hit on the outside of his knee and it got him."
Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported earlier in the day that Kendricks fractured his tibia. Carroll confirmed there is a "nick" in his leg as well, but focused more so on the knee as being the issue at hand.
"There's a little nick in there or something," Carroll said. "There's a couple things that they're going to work on. It's not a terrible knee injury but it's going to take a little bit, it's at least 6-8 weeks kind of a situation so we'll just have to wait it out."
Kendricks appeared to be injured on a screen pass to running back Dalvin Cook with five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Center Pat Elflein clipped Kendricks in his left leg trying to block for Cook down field. Kendricks left the game for the next two snaps and was replaced by Shaquem Griffin and Austin Calitro for a snap each. He then played the rest of the game with the injury. He played a total of 44 of the team's 58 defensive snaps against the Vikings.
"In unbelievable fashion he finished the game. It was early enough and he fought through it the whole time.
Even if the Seahawks were to make it to the Super Bowl, there is not enough time remaining in the season for Kendricks to return to the roster. Additionally, he is scheduled to be sentenced in court in late-January for a guilty plea to insider training charges in September. He faces up to 25 years in prison but the sentence is expected to be on the short end of the spectrum due to Kendricks' cooperation.
"It's just been such a difficult season for Mike," Carroll said. "My heart goes out to him. He wants to be part of this thing so badly but he doesn't get to this time around. We'll look forward to getting him back next time and keep him with us."
Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said he wasn't even aware that Kendricks had been injured until he turned to make a play call and saw Griffin on the field instead.
"There was one point in the game where Shaq came in, and I didn’t know where he came from, then I turned to tell him a play, and then Calitro was in, and then I turn to tell Calitro a play, and Mike was back in," Wagner said. "So you don’t really worry about it. You go out there, make the plays, make the play calls and all that stuff, and whoever’s next to you you just try to get them on the same page."
Calitro will likely resume the role at weak-side linebacker until, and if, K.J. Wright can return from a knee injury that has limited him to just 2 1/2 games played all season long. Wright was back working through the team's walkthrough on Wednesday but is still not expected to return to the lineup for at least another week.
"I watched him run yesterday and he looks good. He's getting close," Carroll said. "This will be an important week to just kind of work him back in and hopefully a couple weeks from now we'll have a chance to get him back."
Wright and wide receiver Doug Baldwin were among a lengthy of list of players to sit out practice on Wednesday. Part of that is due to the quicker turnaround following the Monday night game. Part of that is that the Seahawks are just a bit beat up at the moment.
Baldwin does have a chance to play this weekend though his hip injury continues to be problematic.
"He went through the walkthrough today too," Carroll said. "We'll see how he does this afternoon. We'll just go one day at a time with Doug and never expecting anything other than he pull off another one of these miracles and get back and play so his mind is set on doing that. We'll see how he makes it through the week. I can't tell you right now."
Wright (knee), Baldwin (hip), D.J. Fluker (hamstring), Shamar Stephen (foot), Dion Jordan (knee) and Bradley McDougald (knee) all sat out with issues that have kept them from practicing in previous weeks.
Running back Rashaad Penny did not practice due to a sore knee. Safety Maurice Alexander sustained a concussion when he was hit with a knee to his head in the fourth quarter and will have to clear concussion protocol this week in order to play against the 49ers. Defensive end Frank Clark (elbow) and defensive tackle Jarran Reed (oblique) were both limited.
The Seahawks promoted linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee from their practice squad to fill the roster spot created with the move of Kendricks to injured reserve. Ellerbee played two weeks ago against the 49ers before being released and re-signed to the practice squad. He also played against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week Nine. Seattle had acquired Ellerbee initially by claiming him off waivers from the Chargers earlier this season.
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 10: Adam Thielen #19 of the Minnesota Vikings makes his 100th catch of the season over Mychal Kendricks #56 of the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field on December 10, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)