Fant’s injury casts shadow over Seahawks’ win over Vikings

Published 3:23 pm Saturday, August 19, 2017

SEATTLE  — Just when the Seattle Seahawks were getting settled on its shaky offensive line, it’s once again their biggest question with the regular season approaching.

Russell Wilson looked just fine throwing for 206 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, and the Seattle Seahawks suffered a significant injury to left tackle George Fant in their 20-13 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Friday night.

Fant suffered a torn ACL in his right knee when he was injured midway through the second quarter. Fant was rolled into by teammate Justin Britt and immediately fell to the turf in pain. The team training staff attended to Fant on the field and placed an air splint around his lower right leg before he was taken away.

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Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Fant will need surgery and expected to be done for the season.

“It’s heartbreaking. It’s so unfortunate for George,” Carroll said. “There are other things that follow that but my first thoughts are for George.”

Fant’s injury likely means significant changes for Seattle’s offensive line. Luke Joeckel was set to be the starting left guard, but may be an option at left tackle with the entire right side of the line still unsettled.

Fant took over at left tackle midway through last season and spent the offseason reshaping his body to be stronger going into this season. Earlier this week offensive line coach Tom Cable said Seattle was set on the left side of the offensive line.

Fant’s injury overshadowed what was an otherwise solid performance by the Seahawks. Wilson picked apart a Vikings secondary that played without starting cornerback Trey Waynes and safety Andrew Sedenjo, completing 13 of 18 passes. He hit Kasen Williams on a 1-yard touchdown pass and found Mike Davis on a 22-yard catch-and-run TD late in the first half.

Williams continued to make a bid for a roster spot with an acrobatic 27-yard catch, followed by his 1-yard TD on Seattle’s opening drive. He nearly had a second TD but couldn’t haul in a deep pass from Wilson near the goal line in the second quarter.

“I’ve been on practice squad for two years now and quite honestly I’m tired of it,” Williams said.

Minnesota’s Sam Bradford was 7 of 11 for 95 yards, leading three drives for the Vikings before calling it a night. Taylor Heinicke threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Bucky Hodges in the fourth quarter.

“It was progress from last week to this week, we moved the ball well,” Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer said. “We still have to score in the red zone that was the bad part, but I felt good about the way we were moving the football.”


Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett sat during the national anthem for the second straight preseason game.

Bennett was alone sitting on the Seahawks bench during the “The Star-Spangled Banner.” But teammates showed support for Bennett with center Justin Britt standing alongside with his hand on Bennett’s shoulder. Defensive back Jeremy Lane also stood next to Bennett.

“I’m going to continue talking with Mike and exploring and just continuing to understand. I wanted to take a first step tonight and that’s what I felt like I did,” Britt said.


Walsh took great joy in having success against his former team that released him last season. Walsh made a pair of 52-yard field goals in the second half and made gestures toward the Minnesota sideline after each kick. Walsh pointed at the sideline after his first make and walked toward the bench and appeared to say something after the second.

Walsh nearly had three made kicks of beyond 50 yards but a 53-yard attempt in the first half hit the crossbar. Zimmer said he did not see any of Walsh’s gestures.

“When they’re out there kind of yelling at you and taunting you on kicks it’s just I’ve been in the league a little while, I didn’t really like that,” Walsh said. “I hope it was in jest because my response was in jest. I could see guys smiling so I hope nobody took it too seriously.”


Vikings’ rookie Dalvin Cook ran well in the first half against most of Seattle’s starting defense. With the Vikings bringing back Latavius Murray slowly from ankle surgery in March, Cook had seven carries for 40 yards in the first half, including a 15-yarder. Cook also had one reception for 10 yards.


Both of Minnesota’s kickers converted their opportunities in the first half. Marshall Koehn hit from 29 yards in the first quarter and Kai Forbath was good from 51 yards just before halftime. That was the only opportunities for either kicker as the Vikings had only two drives inside the Seattle 40.


Davis’ touchdown was his first since signing with the Seahawks in the offseason and he had a unique celebration. Davis ran into the end zone then laid down using the ball as a pillow as his teammates joined him to celebrate. It was the most extensive of any of the touchdown celebrations.