Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III has a chance to return this week from the ankle injury that knocked him out of the team's 27-23 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, coach Pete Carroll said on his weekly radio show.
Carroll told Seattle Sports 710 AM on Monday that an MRI revealed a strain -- not a sprain -- that's causing inflammation.
"He's got a strain in a particular part of his foot that we've just got to help him through and see if we can get it to quiet down and all that," Carroll said. "It's an unusual injury. I've never heard of this. It's a little space that's just aggravated in the inside of his ankle that we've got to just help him, just do everything we can to get him back, see if he can come back and play."
Carroll said it's possible that Walker plays this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers depending on how he responds over the next few days.
Walker, a candidate for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, left the Rams game in the first half and did not return. His right ankle was examined extensively on the sideline before the Seahawks ruled him out early in the third quarter. It's not clear exactly when he was hurt. Walker carried three times for 36 yards before exiting, including a 30-yard run that set up a touchdown on the Seahawks' first possession.
The Seahawks were already down one running back against the Rams with Travis Homer (knee/illness) inactive. They briefly lost another when DeeJay Dallas suffered an ankle injury of his own late in the first half.
Carroll said on his radio show that the Seahawks won't know about the status of Homer's knee injury until later this week. He described it as "somewhat of a high ankle issue" for Dallas and said they're awaiting MRI results.
Carroll praised Dallas for returning to the game and playing through his ankle injury. He led Seattle with 37 rushing yards on 10 carries. Tony Jones Jr., who hadn't played an offensive snap since the Seahawks claimed him off waivers from the New Orleans Saints in October, added 14 yards on seven carries.
"Tough as nails," Carroll said of Dallas. "We had to pull him off the field. Ryan Neal was the same way."
Neal missed the fourth quarter after hitting a knee on the turf. Carroll had no update on his status.
Walker, Seattle's second-round draft pick, took over as the Seahawks' starter after Rashaad Penny suffered a season-ending ankle injury in October. He entered Sunday with 613 rushing yards and nine touchdowns to rank second and first, respectively, among rookies.
With Penny out for the year and Walker, Homer and Dallas all banged up, Jones is the only healthy tailback on the Seahawks' 53-man roster. They have Darwin Thompson and Godwin Igwebuike on their practice squad.
"Tony Jones did a nice job, and if we've got to keep moving, we've got guys that can play," Carroll said. "We'll be all right."