Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas was carted off the field in the fourth quarter Sunday after what head coach Pete Carroll confirmed after the game was a fracture in the All-Pro’s lower left leg.
As he was being carted off, the 29-year-old Thomas made an obscene gesture toward his own team’s sideline, raising his middle finger. It was unclear for whom the gesture was intended, as Thomas was on the other side of the field near the Arizona Cardinals’ sideline.
“I don’t know who the gesture was aimed at,” Carroll told reporters. “It’s a big stadium.”
Thomas went down in the end zone as the Arizona Cardinals scored a touchdown on a 22-yard Josh Rosen pass to Chad Williams with 8:59 left. He stayed down in a lot of pain before being put on a cart with his left leg in an air cast. Players from both teams showed their support as he was taken off the field.
The Seahawks won the game 20-17.
Thomas’ relationship with the Seahawks has grown contentious recently over a contract dispute. Thomas, a three-time first-team All Pro, held out from all offseason activities and didn’t report to training camp, while entering the final year of his contract. He wanted a new multi-year deal, and if the Seahawks weren’t going to accommodate his request, Thomas wanted to be traded. He singled out Dallas as his preferred destination, but that didn’t happen.
He has missed several practices this season, indicating he wanted to preserve his body to sign a long-term contract as a free agent after the season. The team reportedly fined Thomas for two missed sessions last week. Despite missing practices, Thomas has been productive, notching three interceptions in as many games entering Sunday.
Asked about the relationship between he and Thomas, Carroll said, “I’m proud of the relationship we have. My heart breaks for him.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning that the Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs were in trade discussions but couldn’t agree on compensation. Schefter said the Chiefs were thought to be the favorite to acquire him should the Seahawks decide to trade him.
Thomas’ dissatisfaction with the team was evident on the day he reported to camp, when he posted this to Instagram:
“I worked my whole life for this….. I’ve never let my teammates, city or fans down as long as I’ve lived and don’t plan on starting this weekend,” he wrote, his words accompanied by a photo of him sitting on a weight bench. “With that being said, the disrespect has been well noted and will not be forgotten. Father Time may have an undefeated record but best believe I plan on taking him into triple overtime when it comes to my career.”
Thomas broke his left leg in December 2016.
Carroll also told reporters that rookie tight end Will Dissly, who was carted off earlier in the game, sustained a patellar tendon injury.
Dissly, a fourth-round pick, had seven catches for 151 yards through three games. He had one catch for 5 yards before leaving Sunday.
–Field Level Media