Metcalf carted off, likely to miss time with knee injury

Seahawks’ wide receiver DK Metcalf suffered a right knee injury in Sunday’s win over Los Angeles, and is expected to miss some time.

The injury occurred with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter when quarterback Geno Smith threw a jump ball to Metcalf at the pylon. Initially Metcalf caught the ball, but he couldn’t maintain possession as he fell to the ground while trying to stay inbounds.

Metcalf sat upright on the ground for a few seconds before standing up and limping to the Seahawks bench. Shortly afterward he was ruled out, which raised the level of concern significantly. He was then carted off the field and to the locker room.

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When reviewing the play, Metcalf can be seen planting his left foot into the ground with the weight of his body over his left leg. At the same time, his left knee bends inward, which results in a twisting motion that is likely what caused the injury.

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The major concern with this type of twisting motion is an ACL injury. When Metcalf landed, his left foot was essentially stuck in place because the weight of his body was over that leg. He was also attempting to keep his feet away from the sideline by turning towards the end zone, which is why his knee went inwards. But his momentum from jumping carried his body further towards the sideline and over that left foot. All of this together creates what is known as a knee abduction moment (KAM).

The other concern for Metcalf would be a meniscus injury. KAMs are also known to result in damage to the meniscus, specifically causing tears that often have larger medial extrusion. In Metcalf’s case, this would be the preferred diagnosis because he could potentially still return later this year. Whereas, if this is a torn ACL he’s done for the year.

There was some good news that his x-rays showed no fractures, but he will undergo additional testing Monday to determine the severity of the injury. Best case scenario, this is just an MCL sprain or a bone bruise, but for now it’s best to be cautiously optimistic.

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