The Seattle Seahawks received a major blow with the season-ending broken leg suffered by veteran safety Earl Thomas.

Now, it’s time for the Seahawks to turn to younger members of their secondary to pick up the slack.

‘It’s tough to lose a guy like that’

Cornerback Shaquill Griffin, for one, is ready for that challenge.

“We’ve got younger guys here and it’s just time for us to step up in a major way,” Griffin told Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn on the SiriusXM Blitz. “It’s tough that you lose a guy like that, and all our prayers and heart goes out to him and his family. I feel like there’s so much going on right now, and it’s tough to lose a guy like that, one of the best to ever play and it’s hard to see that happen.

‘It’s only going to make me play even harder’

“But, man, there’s opportunity for so many other people to come and just step up and play a major role in the defense. And it’s only going to make me play even harder. The main thing I told him once he left that field that I was going to do whatever it takes to make sure this team is good enough to continue to win games and make improvement. So me and Brad McDougald and other guys, Tedric Thompson … have to step up in a major way and lead this defense, this secondary, and continue to do what we have to do to win games.”

Griffin insists that Thomas’ intense battle with the Seahawks for a new contract never became a distraction for the team.

‘We’ve got so much love for that guy’

“I think the main reason why it didn’t become a distraction is because how much love we have for our players here and specifically for Earl,” he said. “We’ve got so much love for that guy, it never became a distraction. We understand what he went through and that’s something that him and the organization and the coaches have to figure out.”

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