RENTON Russell Wilson says his new pectoral-muscle injury is not “crazy, crazy bad.” But it’s clear his third injury in six games this season is real -- and something he is managing in order to be able to play Sunday at New Orleans.
The Seahawks’ $87.6 million franchise quarterback also admitted for the first time what everyone else has seen the last five games: his mobility is less than its usual lethality. That’s because of a sprained knee that Wilson said doctors told him should have sidelined him for four weeks.
He’s played on through that, plus a high-ankle sprain he got in the opening game, while leading Seattle to a 4-1-1 start.
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Now, his new pectoral-muscle injury on his right, throwing side. That showed up in the team’s practice report Wednesday, when the Seahawks listed him as “limited” for the first time in his career.
“Not concerned. Not concerned crazy or anything like that,” Wilson said about the pectoral injury before Thursday’s practice for Sunday’s game at the Saints (2-4).
Last Sunday night, Arizona’s Chandler Jones came around Wilson’s back side to his throwing shoulder and hit him in the fourth quarter of Seattle’s overtime tie. Jones knocked the ball from Wilson’s right hand with such force the resulting fumble bounded 20 yards before Seahawks guard Mark Glowinski covered it at the 1-yard line. That ruined another Seattle drive.
That may be, given the location and severity of the hit, the play on which Wilson got his latest injury. But Wilson said “it was one of those plays” and that he wasn’t sure which one. The Cardinals hit him five times and sacked him once, a relatively cleaner game than most against the team that has sacked Wilson more than any other in his five-year career.
I asked Wilson if there was any way he won’t play Sunday for the 81st time in 81 games since his career begane with the Seahawks in 2012.
“That’s not the plan,” he said. “You know me.
“I’m going to do everything I can to be ready, at the highest level.”
Wilson then noted how the Seahawks are no longer listing his sprained ankle on its practice and injury reports.
“The good thing is my ankle is feeling better,” he said. “Just got to treat what I’m trating what I’m treating right now and get through the situation.
“The knee is feeling good.”
My News Tribune colleague Dave Boling then asked a very pertinent question: Are there any other body parts we aren’t asking about that may be injured?
“Boy, that’s a weird question,” Wilson said, unusually unscripted.
Wilson has played the last three games -- two wins and a tie -- with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. It’s a significant enough sprain he got Sept. 25 getting pulled down from behind on a sack by San Francisco’s Eli Harold that Wilson disclosed he was supposed to be out a month.
He hasn’t missed a day. He’s completed 67.9 percent of his throws for 804 yards, three touchdowns, one interception and a 95.8 passer rating in those three games since the knee injury. That includes a near-flawless, 309-yard passing day with three touchdowns and a 133.5 rating Oct. 2 at the New York Jets, seven days after he sprained his knee.
But last week he and the Seahawks offense failed to score a touchdown for the second time this season in the 6-6 tie at Arizona. He still lacked his usual speed to get away from pass rushers or be a part of Seattle’s anemic rushing offense. The one read-option run he tried, Wilson crumpled to the ground with a tackler for a 2-yard loss.
“I had a pretty a relatively serious injury with my knee. They told me I wasn’t supposed to play for four weeks, maybe longer,” he said Thursday. “You just overcome it, you know?”
Then he chuckled.
“I’d be lying to you to say my mobility is 100 percent. But I feel really good right now. So you just take one week at a time and go out there and try to find a way to win...
“Anytime you have a pec injury it’s...it’s a little funny. It’s not crazy, crazy bad, or anything like that. Just treating it as much as I can. Trying to be smart this week.”
He obviously noticed his five-year streak to begin his career of the Seahawks never listing him as anything other than a full participant in any practice, through any injury, ended Wednesday.
“It says ‘limited’ on practice; I don’t know what’s considered limited,” he said. “Just trying to be as smart as I can and do as much as I can, and be smart about that.
“Yeah, the great thing is, my ankle is no longer listed,” Wilson joked while a laugh before Thursday’s practice for Sunday’s game at New Orleans.
“It’s a little sore, but I think we’ll be fine and get over it and just continue to rehab at the highest level as much as I can.”
He wasn’t limited in any practice following the sprained right ankle he got getting stepped on by Miami’s Ndamukong Suh on a sack in the opener Sept. 11. He wasn’t limited after the sprained medial collateral ligament he got in his left knee Sept. 25 while getting sacked by San Francisco’s Eli Harold from behind. That injury likely would not have happened had Wilson not had the sprained ankle that kept him from sprinting away from trouble as he had over his first four, injury-free seasons.
Wilson spoke for the first time publicly since he announced Tuesday on his social-media accounts that he and his wife Ciara are expecting a baby.
Wilson was asked Thursday if they had an estimated due date.
“Not sure yet. Probably wouldn’t tell you guys yet, anyway,” he said, chuckling.
“But it’s obviously an exciting thing. Obviously for me and ‘C’ it’s exciting. It’s a blessing, that’s for sure. To have a child is an amazing ... probably the biggest miracle in the world, so I’m excited about that.”
Wilson said there are many teammates around the Seahawks’ locker room he will seek for advice on being a dad.
“Oh, man, there’s a lot of advice. Guys like Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, I really look up to those guys,” Wilson said. “There are such great parents, too. There are so many different guys. Earl. Richard Sherman. There’s a lot of guys.”
What does fatherhood mean to him?
“I was telling ‘Tater’ (Seahawks quarterback coach Carl Smith), a couple other people the other day: If I can just be half the dad my dad was to me, I’m doing something pretty good.
“So I just think constantly loving. Constantly being there. I am a step-dad, too. It’s the same thing there. You just love unconditionally. You love at all costs. That’s the best thing about it.”