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Concussions take toll on Seahawks in Chicago

CHICAGO -- Seahawks tight end John Carlson and cornerback Marcus Trufant each left Sunday's game after suffering a concussion.

Carlson was injured in the first quarter, Trufant in the third. Each was taken off the field on a motorized cart, then taken to a hospital, where both were expected to remain overnight for observation. They were diagnosed with head injuries, and both had feeling in their extremities, according to the team.

"Both were OK," coach Pete Carroll said. "Didn't look to be any injuries past just the fact that they had a concussion."

Carlson was hurt when he was tackled after a 14-yard reception to begin Seattle's second possession of the game. He was running after the catch and attempted to jump over Bears safety Danieal Manning. Carlson was upended and landed hard on the Seahawks' sideline.

"He just landed right on his head on the play," Carroll said.

Trufant was injured when he went low to make a tackle on tight end Kellen Davis, whose knee struck Trufant on the side of his helmet.

Trufant suffered a concussion earlier this season against the Chiefs, but returned the following week. He played in all 16 games this season.

How did Seattle deal with the emotional weight of the injuries?

"It impacts you, because you care so much," Carroll said, "but everybody's a professional and knows they have to go back to work. If John could tell us at that time, he would so go back out there and get after it again. So we responded in that fashion."

That's not exactly easy, though.

"It was a challenge just to refocus," quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "Not let your mind drift to what's going on with them, and we knew that. We tried to do the best we could with it."

There was a strategic impact of the injury, too. Carlson is Seattle's starting tight end, and was used effectively in goal-line situations last week against the Saints when he caught two touchdowns off play-action passes.

"We had some creative stuff like we had last week," Hasselbeck said of Carlson's role this week.

Further complicating that was the fact Cameron Morrah was limited because of a turf-toe injury, and Chris Baker was already out for the year after suffering a fractured hip in the regular-season finale. That meant there were points in the game when Seattle didn't have a tight end available and was forced to use more formations with four or even five receivers.

But the result was a serious crimp in Seattle's game plan.

"We have a big, giant call sheet," Hasselbeck said, referencing the plays in the game plan. "It took it down to about just, like, a corner of it."