How can you tell Russell Wilson’s latest injury is legitimate?
Thursday his new pectoral muscle injury on his throwing side limited him in parts of practice for the second consecutive day. These have been the only two days of drills in which he’s been officially limited in his five-year career.
Not only that, the franchise’s indispensable $87.6 million quarterback on Thursday gave the pec injury more public credence than he gave either his two other injuries this season: his high-ankle sprain from the opener or the sprained knee he got two weeks later. He now says that knee should’ve kept him out a month.
“Not concerned. Not concerned crazy or anything like that,” Wilson said about his third injury in six games behind the league’s lowest-paid offensive line.
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That was before he threw but was limited in practice again for Sunday’s game between the Seahawks (4-1-1) and Saints (2-4) in New Orleans.
“Anytime you have a pec injury it’s … it’s a little funny,” he said. “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 was throwing as usual at the start of Thursday’s practice, the first 30 minutes open to the media.
Asked if there was any way he won’t play Sunday for the 81st time in 81 games since his career began with the Seahawks in 2012, Wilson smiled.
“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.”
He obviously noticed the team on Wednesday ended his five-year streak to begin his career of the Seahawks never listing him as anything other than a full participant in any practice.
“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.”
His latest concern came during last Sunday night’s overtime tie at the Cardinals. Arizona’s Chandler Jones came around behind Wilson to his throwing shoulder and hit him in the fourth quarter. Jones knocked the ball from Wilson’s right hand with such force the resulting fumble bounded 20 yards behind. Seahawks guard Mark Glowinski covered it at the 1-yard line.
Given the location and severity of the hit, that’s likely the play on which Wilson got hurt.
On Sept. 15, four days after Ndamukong Suh stepped on his right ankle and sprained it during a sack past the right side of Seattle’s iffy offensive line, Wilson said the ankle was “good. Ready to roll. … so I’m excited about it.”
On Sept. 29 in another of his Thursday press conferences four days after San Francisco’s Eli Harold pulled the hobbled Wilson down from behind onto his left leg, spraining the medial collateral ligament in his knee, Wilson said: “I feel great, feel strong. I practiced yesterday, practiced a full practice and everything like that. I’m excited about this week.”
He isn’t saying he’s excited about this pectoral injury next to his throwing shoulder.
“It’s a little sore,” he said. “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.”
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, with a grin.
And the knee?
“The knee is feeling good,” he said.
A reporter then asked the QB a very pertinent question, given Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Wilson came out of Sunday’s game great and Wilson didn’t mention the injury then, either: Are there any other body parts we aren’t asking about that we should?
“Boy, that’s a weird question,” Wilson said.
Wilson has played through two wins and a tie with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. 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. 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 weekend 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.
Last season at this time, Seattle was second in the NFL in rushing offense, averaging 137.8 yards per game. Wilson in 2015 had 251 yards rushing — on his way to 553 for the season — and was averaging 5.6 yards per rush.
This season through six games Seattle is 27th in rushing, averaging 82.7 yards per game. Wilson has just 33 yards on 22 carries, an average of 1.5 yards.
“I’ve had a pretty relatively serious injury with my knee,” he said. “They told me I wasn’t supposed to play for four weeks, maybe longer. You just overcome it.
“I’d be lying to you to say my mobility is 100 percent,” he admitted for the first time Thursday.
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 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.”
SS Kam Chancellor (pulled groin), LT Bradley Sowell (sprained MCL, right knee) and DE Michael Bennett (knee) did not practice. Chancellor seems increasingly likely to miss his third consecutive game, and sixth in Seattle’s last 10 games dating to last season. … Sowell was trying to convince coaches he could practice four days after he injured his knee in the fourth quarter at Arizona. Undrafted rookie basketball player George Fant looks more likely to make his NFL debut starting at left tackle at New Orleans.
Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle