They had envisioned pairing Carlson with Zach Miller to create a dynamic combination at the position, expanding the possibilities for a coaching staff that had been looking for a player versatile enough to serve a range of roles, including H-back.
In retrospect, losing Carlson to the Minnesota Vikings might not have been such a bad thing for the Seahawks. The team rebounded by acquiring Kellen Winslow from Tampa Bay. Carlson, who missed the 2010 season with a shoulder injury suffered in camp, landed on the Vikings' injured list Tuesday. He's got a sprained MCL that will keep him off the field for several weeks, most likely.
There is no way to know whether Carlson would have been injured had he remained with Seattle, but a clear pattern is emerging for the player Mike Holmgren once thought would end the Seahawks' search for stability at the position. As Kevin Seifert notes, Carlson has suffered a serious concussion during a playoff game against Chicago, the shoulder injury in camp last year and now the knee injury -- all since January 2011.
Winslow has his own injury concerns. He's practicing every other day to protect a chronic knee problem. But he hasn't missed a game over the past three seasons. Winslow has played all 16 games in five of the past six seasons.
Carlson's latest injury might wind up being a temporary setback. For now, though, it feels like more than that.