Seahawks lose Paul Richardson to torn ACL

The injury is a cruel one for Richardson, who had emerged as an exciting big play threat for the Seahawks over the last month. SeahawkFootball.com takes a look at how Seattle will adjust at both wide receiver and kick returner with the Green Bay Packers coming to town for next week's NFC Championship.

With the happy memories of Saturday night's victory over the Carolina Panthers still fresh in their minds, the Seahawks were notified today of tough news as rookie wideout Paul Richardson was diagnosed with a torn ACL.

The news was first reported by FoxSports1.

The injury, which occurred when Richardson and Carolina cornerback Bene Benwikere got tangled up when competing for a deep pass late in last night's game, is to the left leg, the same Richardson hurt while at Colorado.

Though he had not enjoyed the same production of some of this year's other rookie wideouts, Richardson had emerged as a big play option for the Seahawks, playing his best football down the stretch. It is a heart-breaking loss for the first-year player, ending his season abruptly and potentially putting the start of next year in doubt, as well.

With only a week to prepare for the Green Bay Packers, the Seahawks are likely to focus on their in-house candidates rather than sign another receiver off the street to fill Richardson's role as a vertical threat and kick returner.

Ricardo Lockette is the fastest remaining receiver on Seattle's roster. He possesses the acceleration to challenge defenses deep but isn't as reliable in terms of his routes or hands. Nonetheless, he's likely to get additional playing time with Richardson out. Fellow rookie Kevin Norwood - a healthy scratch yesterday - could jump into the four receiver set. Seattle will continue to start Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse and split tight end Luke Willson out effectively against the Panthers.

The sure-handed duo of Bryan Walter and Baldwin are currently listed as Seattle's backups at kick returner. Running back Robert Turbin has experience in this role, as well.

Richardson caught one pass for 21 yards against the Panthers prior to the injury. He caught 29 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown over the regular season.

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