September 30, 2018
Earl Thomas' acrimonious season with the Seattle Seahawks might have reached a head.
The three-time all-pro safety was carted off the field during Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals with what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll later revealed to be a lower leg fracture. As he was leaving, Thomas was shown on camera giving a middle finger toward the Seahawks' sideline.
Earl Thomas gives middle finger toward Seahawks sideline after leg injury
Thomas sustained the injury in the fourth quarter on a touchdown pass from Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen to receiver Chad Williams. An air cast was placed on his left leg and players from both teams approached him to offer their support as he exited.
“I love Earl. I’ve always loved him," Carroll said after the game. "I’ve loved everything he’s ever done for us.”
Entering the final year of his contract, Thomas waged an offseason holdout before deciding to report for the regular season after the team refused to oblige his request for a trade or extension.
He missed one practice last week and two more prior to last week's win over the Dallas Cowboys, saying he would refuse to participate if he did not feel up to the task.
"I need to make sure my body is 100 (percent), and I’m investing in myself. If they were invested in me, I would be out there practicing," Thomas said. "But if I feel like if I have anything, even if it’s something small, if I got a headache, I’m not practicing. But I don’t want that to be taken the wrong way — I know I’ll get fined."
Carroll said Sunday he did not know about Thomas' gesture, but he said he believed the player and organization had "just turned things around" regarding the dispute.
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