Thomas breaks leg, sends angry parting message to Seahawks
Even as he rode on the cart with a broken left leg, Earl Thomas couldn’t put aside his frustration with the Seattle Seahawks.
Angry over his contract situation, Thomas had already said he would skip some practices.
Unfortunately for the Seahawks, now he won’t be in the games, either.
The safety was injured in the fourth quarter while defending Arizona’s Chad Williams, who caught a tying touchdown pass. Thomas, who wanted contract security beyond this season or a trade, made an obscene gesture toward the Seattle side of the field as he was being carted off.
“Earl wanted an extension and at the end of the day he didn’t get that,” Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark said. “It sucks to see a guy who puts his heart into something, put his all into his team and he doesn’t get what he deserves.”
Thomas, a three-time All-Pro, held out at the start of training camp before returning a week before the season despite not being granted his extension. Teammates understood his insult after the injury.
“We play a very, very emotional game,” Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “I think sometimes you have to allow people to have their emotions. I don’t think nothing of it. I think he has a long road ahead of him if it is the injury he is expecting.”
The Seahawks recovered to win 20-17, salvaging a victory from a game in which they also lost starting tight end Will Dissly. The rookie was carted to the locker room in the first quarter with a knee injury.
Cincinnati also lost its tight end, with Tyler Eifert suffering a gruesome lower right leg injury early in the third quarter of the Bengals’ 37-36 victory over Atlanta.
Eifert had four catches for 38 yards, including a 15-yard scoring catch in the first quarter. He caught a 2-yard pass in the third and was tackled by De’Vondre Campbell and Jack Crawford. Eifert brought his hands up to his helmet as he was on his back in obvious pain. His leg stabilized by the medical staff, Eifert received encouragement from teammates before he was carted off the field with his leg in an air cast.
Bengals halfback Mark Walton did not return and was being treated for a possible concussion after a helmet-to-helmet penalty hit by Brian Poole near the end of the third. Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett had an ankle injury late in the fourth and did not return.
Another tight end, one the NFL’s best, also left with an injury. Rob Gronkowski departed New England’s 38-7 victory over Miami in the third quarter with a right ankle problem and did not return. The Dolphins, who had been undefeated, lost center Daniel Kilgore in the first half with an arm injury and safety Bobby McCain to a knee injury.
In other games:
— Bills receiver Kelvin Benjamin left in the third quarter to be evaluated for a head injury after absorbing a hard hit from Ha Ha Clinton-Dix on a play that also led to the safety’s interception at Lambeau Field, where safety Micah Hyde had a disappointing return after leaving in the first quarter with a groin injury. Hyde left the Packers as a free agent after the 2016 season.
— T.Y. Hilton left the Colts’ loss to Houston with a chest injury, returned, and then left again with a hamstring injury. Cornerback Kenny Moore III departed with a concussion in the first half, while Houston’s Will Fuller V caught a TD pass but left with a hamstring injury late in the first half, and linebacker Brian Peters did not return after injuring his ankle.
— Linebacker Wesley Woodyard, Tennessee’s leading tackler, hurt his shoulder in the first quarter against Philadelphia and did not return. Safety Kenny Vaccaro went to the locker room with trainers late in the first half with an injured right elbow and watched the second half with his arm in a sling on the sideline.
— Tampa Bay’s O.J. Howard left in the first half because of a knee injury and cornerback Carlton Davis III aggravated a groin injury, while Bears linebacker Sam Acho left in the first half with a pectoral injury.
— Cleveland safety Terrance Mitchell broke his arm in the first half against Oakland, while Raiders right tackle Donald Penn left in the second half with a leg injury.
— Cowboys defensive tackle Antwaun Woods left a victory over Detroit in the first half with a calf injury, while Lions right guard T.J. Lang didn’t return after sustaining a concussion in the first quarter.
— Jaguars center Brandon Linder was ruled out at halftime with a back injury, while Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne left with a stomach illness and linebacker Josh Martin was ruled out with concussion-like symptoms.