Ricardo Lockette remained in a Dallas-Fort Worth-area hospital overnight with a team trainer at his side while the rest of his Seahawks flew home.
Some of the Seahawks remained steamed over the hit that sent him there.
Coach Pete Carroll said Seattle’s wide receiver and special-teams ace had a sore neck and had undergone concussion testing following a scary second-quarter hit by Dallas’ Jeff Heath. Lockette was getting his usual double-team in the open field while as the gunner running down to cover a punt by Jon Ryan on the next-to-last play of the opening half.
Lockette never saw Heath turn into him and lift him off his feet with a blow to the upper chest near midfield. As officials flagged Heath for a blindside hit to a defenseless player, Lockette laid motionless on the field near the Cowboys’ star logo. Seahawks team doctor Jonathan Drezner rushed onto the field as soon as the play ended. He was by his side with Dr. Ed Khalfayan, Carroll and most prominently among the players, wide receiver Doug Baldwin, safety Earl Thomas and quarterback Russell Wilson.
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Those three and Carroll stayed with the doctors, trainers and Lockette as he was loaded onto and strapped to a spine board. His helmet was still on as he was immobilized and taken from the field. Lockette pumped his right arm and raised an index finger to the hushed-then-applauding crowd at AT&T Stadium as he was taken from the field to a hospital.
“It was horrible,” Carroll said.
Thomas said he could see Lockette tearing up, with fears of “why is this happening to me?”
“He’s a guy everyone loves,” Wilson said. “I’m trying to think if I’ve been involved in something that kind of scary; I don’t think I have.
“He wasn’t moving for a little while. He finally started moving his eyes, moving his fingers a little bit. He finally started talking to us. He said, ‘Do it for me, Russ. Do it for me, Doug.’
“Kind of crazy. … One of the best teammates you can have, on and off the field. We are praying for him.”
Officials flagged Heath a 15-yard foul for what referee Carl Cheffers announced as “a blind-side” hit, though it was from the front. As Lockette was down both bench areas emptied and players from each team traded shouts and pointed fingers. Tarvaris Jackson was among the most vocal Seahawks barking at Cowboys.
As Lockette was being strapped to the stretcher, teammate Richard Sherman gathered almost all the Seahawks around him a few yards to the left of the injury scene and led what appeared to be a brief, fiery, impassioned talk.
The message: Not stoop into retaliation against the Cowboys and to keep the mission intact of winning the game.
Carroll likened it to a hit former Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate put on Dallas linebacker Sean Lee in the open field during a scramble by Wilson during a game in 2012. in a 2012 game in Seattle. Tate received a personal foul and $21,000 fine.
Carroll said it appeared to be a hit for which the NFL will fine Heath.
Afterward, Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett vented.
“I thought it was a classless play, from everybody down,” Bennett said. “I thought their coach could have come to the aid of our player to see if he was OK. That’s what Pete Carroll would have done. I thought Jason Garrett should have done a better job ...
“I thought the referees sucked. When something happens like that, it is their job to protect the players. But they haven’t been doing a very good job of it this year.”
Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant railed profanely in the other locker room after he saw a video circulating the internet from the Twitter feed of a local-area television reporter that claimed he was taunting the Seahawks and saying Lockette got what he deserved.
“I won’t ever, ever, ever, ever wish bad on a player that’s been knocked down. C’mon, man ...,” Bryant said, via Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Not once did I say that’s what you get. I got on one knee and prayed for that man.
“I got on one knee and prayed for him. C’mon, man. Don’t put clips together and do that.”
Heath told the Star-Telegram he “hated” what happened.
“When I saw that he was injured like that, and he wasn’t moving, I hated it,” Heath told the Star-Telegram’s Charean Williams. “My intention is never to hurt anyone. I was playing hard, and he was doing the same thing. I heard he was all right, and I was really happy that he was able to move after when they were taking him off. I just was praying for him. That’s about it.”