Glendale, Ariz. — Richard Sherman limped off the field with a ruptured Achilles tendon, ending his season. He was just one of a host of players knocked out of the Seattle Seahawks' 22-16 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night.
"It's a good division win, a good team win," Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said afterward, "but it's hard to truly appreciate it when you see a lot of guys go down with minor injuries, serious injuries."
Players don't like Thursday night football, and the injuries that hit the Seahawks and Cardinals are examples of why.
It's just too difficult, they say, to play that soon after Sunday.
"It's kind of hard to get back out there and recover," Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett said. "That's why you see so many injuries on Thursday night. You want to give the fans what they want, but also be able to protect the players as much as you can.
"Sometimes I feel like Thursday night football doesn't give them the opportunity to protect them."
At least seven players left the game with injuries, including knee injuries to Arizona's starting left tackle D.J. Humphries and the team's leading tackler, safety Tyvon Branch. Both could be headed for injured reserve, Arizona coach Bruce Arians said.
Asked if Thursday night football is unsafe, Seattle coach Pete Carroll said "It's a challenge."
"It's a real challenge for our players," he said. "Our guys did it and their guys did it. It's a great event for everyone, but it's very difficult and very challenging."
The game featured loads of penalties and sluggish play with one of amazing escape by Russell Wilson in a 54-yard pass to Doug Baldwin.
"He made a play that will probably go down in history," Arizona inside linebacker Karlos Dansby said.
The Cardinals sacked Wilson a season-high five times but couldn't get him down this time.
Retreating, spinning, slipping out of serious trouble, Wilson was on his heels when he threw to Baldwin. Defender Antoine Bethea went up to try to intercept, then slipped. Baldwin caught it and raced downfield to the Cardinals 2-yard line, setting up Wilson's second touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham.
The Seahawks (6-3) bounced back from Sunday's home loss to Washington to climb within a half-game of the first place Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West. Arizona (4-5) has yet to beat a team that does not have a losing record.
Adrian Peterson, playing four days after carrying a career-high 37 times for 159 yards in San Francisco, had a tough day.
He fumbled the ball away the first time he touched it and wound up with just 29 yards in 21 carries.
"It was some missed opportunities on my part," Peterson said. "They did a great job defensively of containing us. We just really couldn't get into a rhythm."
Ageless Larry Fitzgerald had another prolific outing with 10 catches for 113 yards. In the process, he topped 15,000 yards receiving for his career. At 34 years, 70 days, he is the second-youngest player to reach that milestone. The only younger one was Jerry Rice.