It’s official. The Seattle Seahawks will be without running back Rashaad Penny.
The Seahawks announced on October 14 that they have placed Penny on injured reserve. The 26-year-old running back suffered a fractured fibula in Week 5 against the New Orleans Saints.
Placing Penny on IR doesn’t come as a surprise. The Seahawks ruled him out for the rest of the season on October 10.
“It’s really a heartbreaker for a kid who has really bounced back into the limelight of our program,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said on The Brock and Salk Show on October 10. “He’s been through such a long haul, it’s really just a heartbreaking loss for him. He’s been doing great and everybody can see it, and we’ve been so excited for him. He’s going to miss the rest of this year.”
Carroll Expects Penny Back Next Season
The season-ending injury is so “heartbreaking” for Penny because he’s struggled to stay healthy during his five-year NFL career. He played in just 13 games the last two seasons combined, and now he will only dress for five this year.
Penny has played more than 10 games in a season just once in five years.
It’s even more frustrating when considering that Penny has emerged as a running back deserving more touches. He led the NFL with 6.3 yards per rush last year and was averaging 6.1 yards per carry in 2022 before his injury. In Week 4, Penny ran for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 48-45 victory against the Detroit Lions.
The good news, though, is Penny will be able to return and again have the opportunity to put the injury bug behind him.
“He’ll come back, he’ll be able to play again and all of that,” Caroll said. “It’s a really clear surgery process and all of that, but it just does take a long time.”
Penny posted at least 60 rushing yards in four of the first five games this season. He averaged 90.3 rushing yards and nearly 7.0 yards per carry in his final three contests before his injury.
Seahawks Officially Turn to Rookie Kenneth Walker
Seattle drafted Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft. Teams don’t drafted players early on Day 2 to just be backups. The Seahawks expected Walker to play a role on offense with Penny this season.
But now without Penny, it’s Walker’s backfield.
“I’m ready,” Walker told the media after playing the Saints on October 9. “Been practicing every day. I feel real comfortable with the offense.
“I feel real comfortable in the scheme.”
Walker has also been stellar from a yards per carry standpoint this season although with limited attempts. He has rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown, averaging 6.3 yards per carry in four games.
He posted the best game of his young career against the Saints after Penny left with his injury. Walker rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown on just 8 carries.
In his final season at Michigan State, Walker ran for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns. He gained 2,795 rushing yards and averaged 5.8 yards per carry during his three-year college career.
The Seahawks now have an open roster spot from placing Penny on injured reserve. Seattle will likely fill that opening on October 15.