Seahawks' coach praises responders who treated injured player
Coach Pete Carroll said the real heroes of Sunday night's game were the paramedics from Seattle Fire Department, who rushed to the aid of Rees Odhiambo
By Gregg Bell
The News Tribune
RENTON, Wash. — Russell Wilson had three touchdowns in the second half, including an emotional run that impressed his teammates.
J.D. McKissic had two touchdowns in his season debut. Marcus Smith forced a fumble Bobby Wagner turned into a decisive touchdown. Justin Coleman intercepted a pass for another score.
But to coach Pete Carroll, there were other, more fundamental heroes from the Seahawks’ home victory over Indianapolis on Sunday night.
Paramedics from the Seattle Fire Department.
Carroll, general manager John Schneider and dozens of Seahawks players watched in fear about 30 minutes after their game ended as emergency medical technicians walked purposefully with team doctors through the center of the locker room, to the locker of Rees Odhiambo. The second-year left tackle was having trouble breathing because of an elbow to the chest he took in the third quarter.
As postgame interviews went on and cameras rolled on other Seahawks around them, paramedics moved quickly into place. They put leads for monitoring wires on Odhiambo’s chest. They eventually got the 6-foot-4, 315-pound tackle onto the floor and summoned a stretcher.
Fellow offensive lineman Justin Britt was shaken for his comrade. The center got down on one knee next to Carroll, right next to the prone Odhiambo, as the medical personnel continue to work quietly but intently.
The scary scene lasted about 15 minutes before Odhiambo was transported to a nearby hospital. He stayed there into Monday for tests that Carroll said determined he has a bruised sternum, not a cardiac contusion as ESPN reported.
“There was such a fantastic group of the guys around him. They were in absolute control,” Carroll said. “It was just impressive to watch those guys work and communicate, and look after him, and the way that they were helping him through it and reinforcing him and communicating with him. I heard that these guys are supposed to be really good, but man, they were on it.
“I was sitting right next to Rees right at the top of the whole thing that was going on there and Justin Britt was with me right there and coaches were around. Just to watch those guys work, it was fantastic, and they took really great care of him. And that’s a big man to move, so that was very impressive. We were very fortunate to have that group.
“I don’t know if those guys are stadium guys or where they come from. But they were first-rate.”
Again, the personnel I saw working most urgently and closely with Odhiambo where wearing white duty uniforms with Seattle Fire Department patches on their shoulders.
Another impressive feat: Odhiambo getting elbowed in the chest from Colts linebacker Jabaal Sheard during the return of an interception by Indianapolis’ Malik Hooker with 6 minutes left in the third quarter--yet playing the final 1 1/2 quarters and final 26 plays with a bruised sternum and troubled breathing. He didn’t miss a single snap all night, though Wilson noticed Odhiambo was having issues in the huddle between plays.
“Yeah, more than we realized. He just sucked it up, and he was having trouble breathing,” Carroll said. “He just sucked it up, and it kind of caught up with him after the game when he started to calm down when all of the adrenaline wasn’t pumping and all. It was a really good effort by him to hang tough and play a good football game like that. He played pretty good. He had some problems, as everyone does, but he played a pretty good football game, particularly under the circumstances.
“Russell said afterward that he could see him in the huddle that he was struggling, and didn’t know what it was all about. But he was just struggling to catch his breath. It was gallant. It was a great effort.”
Carroll said the Seahawks are going to submit to the NFL film of the play to ask the league what the legality of Sheard’s elbow was to Odhiambo’s chest. It happened directly in front of an official. No penalties were called for the hit.
“We’ll turn it in. We’ll turn it in and see what the league says,” Carroll said.
As for Odhiambo’s status for Sunday’s game at the Los Angeles Rams (3-1), the early leaders of the NFC West one game in front of Seattle, the Seahawks are likely to be preparing Matt Tobin this week to possibly play. Tobin arrived in August in a trade from Philadelphia, near the end of the preseason.
But Odhiambo’s situation could have been much worse. It sure looked bad in the locker room Sunday night.
“He has been released from the hospital. They took a good look at him,” Carroll said. “He does not have a bruised heart, which was out there. Whatever. Somebody made that up. That isn’t what he has. He’s got a bruised sternum.
“He’s fine and all, but we will see what that means. I’m not sure what that means for the week.
“It is nothing beyond that (sternum bruise).”
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