It was two years ago this week when Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Paul Richardson suffered a torn ACL in a Divisional Round victory over the Carolina Panthers. After last year was almost completely derailed by injuries, Richardson is stepping up to fill the shoes of an injured Tyler Lockett.
Richardson caught just three passes for 48 yards and a touchdown against the Lions but every catch was a contested ball that resulted in big plays for Seattle's offense. Richardson hauled in a 2-yard touchdown pass with one hand from Russell Wilson on fourth-and-goal in the second quarter that gave Seattle a 7-0 lead. Richardson somehow corralled the ball with his left hand while being draped by Lions' safety Tavon Wilson.
"It was a tough play but it worked out," Richardson said.
Richardson also caught 19- and 27-yard passes to add to his total.
Richardson missed the first nine games on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from January 2015 knee surgery. He returned to the lineup and caught one pass for 40 yards against the Arizona Cardinals only to suffer a torn hamstring that again landed him on injured reserve.
Now healthy, Richardson is finally contributing. He's had three straight games with at least three catches since Lockett went down with a broken leg against Arizona two weeks ago.
Richardson's performance came with a nod to Lockett as well. Richardson wrote a number 16 on his towel in tribute to his teammate.
"I told Tyler I was going to bring it with me on the field for the rest of the season," Richardson said. "It means a lot to me. That's like my little brother. I've got a lot of love for him and I know how much he invests in this team and how much we love him. We love him and it's really a tribute to all the players that have helped us get to this point. We want all of them to come out there and feel a part of this because they helped us get here.