RENTON Russell Wilson has a sprained knee but should be able to start at quarterback yet again for the Seahawks on Sunday at the New York Jets.
That was coach Pete Carroll’s assessment on Monday, 24 hours after Wilson sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee while getting yanked down from behind by the back of his shoulder pads in the third quarter of the lopsided win over San Francisco.
“He’s remarkably well off for having a play like that,” Carroll said of the tackle that got 49ers linebacker Eli Harold a 15-yard penalty -- and eventually sent Wilson to the sidelines with a brace and wrap on his left knee for the final 1 1/2 quarters of Seattle’s 37-18 victory Sunday.
“He looks very good. Very upbeat, positive about feeling like he is going to be fine. So, it was just all positive.”
I asked the coach if he expected Wilson to start for the 78th consecutive time in the regular season and postseason for the Seahawks (2-1) on Sunday at the Jets (1-2) and their rugged, at-times nasty defensive line.
“Yes,” Carroll said.
“Really early to say, because we haven’t seen him do anything other than just convince me of that thought. He’s done a very good job (of that).”
Carroll said “we’ll see” if Wilson will need to be limited at practice on Wednesday or Thursday, the two biggest on-field work day between games.
“We plan on practicing him on Wednesday,” Carroll said.
All in all, another dodged bullet in the health of the Seahawks’ seemingly indestructible franchise cornerstone.
Wilson got what is believed to be a high-ankle sprain in the middle of the opener Sept. 11 but didn’t miss a snap of that win. He jumped right into ice and rehabilitation that included bringing up his personal physical therapist from California.
He made need to have Drew Morcos just move into a room of Wilson’s Lake Washington mansion now.
The medial collateral ligament is inside the knee and keeps it from collapsing inside.
“You’ve got to have a little bit of good luck,” Carroll said. “Got to get through it, and like any kind of injury it’s always about how the guy responds to the work. Does he make it back after doing the work. We’ll see how that goes.
“This injury that he has, a lot of guys play with. So this is something our trainers have been through a number of times. They know that this is really possible that he’ll be fine. But he still has to respond on Wednesday and Thursday to see how he gets through it, and then we’ll be watching it very closely to do the right thing, to make sure of his health and his well-being moving forward, and our team’s well-being moving forward, and all that. We will take all that into account.”
Wilson missed one snap -- the first one he’s missed due to injury in his five-season career -- while undrafted rookie backup Trevone Boykin handed the ball off the Christine Michael. Wilson then came back off the sideline to the huddle for three plays. He handed off to Michael twice -- the first rush negatated by a holding penalty on center Justin Britt -- and threw a quick, short pass in the right flat to Doug Baldwin for a 10-yard gain. After Steven Hauschka kicked a 33-yard field goal to push Seattle’s lead to 27-3 with 6:56 left in the third quarter, Wilson’s came out and stayed out of the game for its final 21 minutes.
Wilson smiled and talked around his answer after Sunday’s game when I asked him if he re-entered it on his own.
"I don’t know if I did it on my own. I told them, maybe they didn’t hear me,” Wilson said, grinning. “I said, ‘Guys, I’m going back out. See you there.’ I don’t know if they heard me. I don’t know, but I went back out there. I don’t know if you could say I did it on my own or not.”
Yes, you could say he did it on his own. Carroll said Monday he wasn’t OK with that.
“Not particularly, no,” Carroll said, chuckling. “He just kind of ran out onto the field. And so we let him have a couple of plays there. We were careful with the plays.
“But then I had intention of leaving him in. Really, regardless of what the doctor said, after that he was not going to come back in.”
RAWLS OUT MULTIPLE MORE WEEKS
Christine Michael will get multiple more chances to duplicate his 100-yard rushing day Sunday filling in for Thomas Rawls as Seattle’s lead runner.
Rawls has a break in a bone in his lower leg, the result of getting kicked in the first half of the 9-3 loss at Los Angels on Sept. 18. He didn’t practice all last week and missed the 49ers game with what the team first thought was a bruise and then a muscle strain high on the side of the shin.
“Yeah, we were able to find a little something in the evaluations (Monday) that wasn’t clear a week ago,” Carroll said. “That makes sense for how uncomfortable he’s been feeling. He’s got a little crack there that we just have to take care of and wait it out a little bit. He’s not going to be incapacitated by it at all.
“He’ll be able to move around and all that kind of stuff, but we just have to be careful and get him through a few more weeks before we can get him back out.”
Rawls was 1 1/2 games into his return from a broken ankle and torn ligaments Dec. 13 when he got his newest injury. Carroll said they were not related.
Asked if Rawls would need to go on the injured-reserve list, meaning could he possibly miss six or more games, Carroll said: “Not at this point.”
IFEDI EXPECTED TO DEBUT VS. JETS
Rookie starting right guard Germain Ifedi is going to practice Wednesday and is on track to make his NFL regular-season debut Sunday at New York. He’s been out since he got a high-ankle sprain in practice Sept. 9.
That would send J’Marcus Webb back to being the backup right tackle behind Garry Gilliam. Webb started the first three games for Ifedi.
“He’s doing quite well. He’s really excited about coming back,” Carroll said. “He was really close last week; you wouldn’t know that there was anything wrong with him at this point. He’ll put the days together. He worked really hard (Monday) and he’ll take a light day (Tuesday). Then he’ll get after it and practice with us on Wednesday.
“I think that gives him a chance to get right back in there, if he can put together a day after (Monday). It’s really a day to day thing and see how he responds to the work. (Monday) was a really big indicator that he’s in good shape and ready to go.”