Rashaad Penny finished 2021 strong and started strong in 2022, but the oft-injured Seahawks running back won’t be playing again for a long time. Carted off in the third quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Saints, Penny suffered a “serious” ankle injury, coach Pete Carroll told reporters afterward. But the fear now is that the former first-round draft pick actually fractured his tibia, per NFL Media, which will likely require surgery and send the veteran to injured reserve for the remainder of the season.
Penny, 26, will undergo additional tests Monday to determine whether surgery is necessary, Ian Rapoport reported. Either way, such an injury is likely to sideline the running back for at least a few months, meaning his 2022 campaign could be over.
The news unfortunately marks just the latest in a long line of serious injuries for the former San Diego State standout. Penny missed a combined 26 games from 2019-2021 due to various injuries, including an ACL tear at the end of 2019.
He was also just over four games into his first full-time gig as Seattle’s lead ball-carrier, taking over for former 1,000-yard rusher Chris Carson, whose own injury history forced him into retirement this offseason. Drafted 27th overall in 2018, Penny topped out at just over 400 rushing yards during his first three NFL seasons. He exploded down the stretch in 2021, however, finishing with 749 yards and six touchdowns while averaging more than six yards per carry. And he had been productive this fall, just two weeks ago eclipsing 150 yards on the ground in Seattle’s win over the Lions.
With Penny sidelined indefinitely, the Seahawks figure to turn to second-round rookie Kenneth Walker III and third-year reserve DeeJay Dallas in the backfield. They also have Travis Homer on the roster, but he remains on IR.