RENTON Everyone seems to think Russell Wilson is risking his health by practicing fully each day and playing this weekend at the New York Jets just seven days after he sprained his knee -- and three weeks after he sprained his ankle.
Everyone, that is, except Russell Wilson.
“I don’t think about risk,” the Seahawks’ quarterback said before being a full participant in practice yet again on Thursday.
All he’s thinking about is starting for the 78th consecutive time for Seattle (2-1) at the Meadowlands in New Jersey on Sunday against the Jets (1-2).
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“No doubt. No doubt,” Wilson said when asked if he will be ready to play.
It’s becoming apparent Wilson is going to play with a brace over his left knee and the medial collateral ligament he sprained when San Francisco’s Eli Harold pulled him down from behind by the top of his shoulder pads on a sack last Sunday.
It’s also becoming apparent why Wilson’s been wearing sweatpants all this week.
“I played with a knee brace before; I can’t remember what year at N.C. State,” Wilson said between the team’s morning walk-through drills and the afternoon’s full practice. “I’ve been able to do it and it’s not going to be a hindrance, really. I don’t mind wearing one.
“I’m wearing one right now.”
But this on Sunday is unlikely to be the normal, elusive Wilson who usually masks pass-protection issues by simply running away from and around pressure to make big plays. He really hasn’t been that way since he sprained his right ankle in the third quarter of the opening game Sept. 11 against Miami. The normal Wilson would have run around Harold instead of getting pulled down and injured by him last weekend.
Sunday he is likely going to be relatively stagnant against Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, Leonard Williams and the Jets’ often-nasty defensive front.
That’s why many people think the safer call is for Wilson to rest this weekend, and again during next week’s bye, to be much more healthy and elusive for the final 12 games of the regular season Seattle will play over consecutive weeks.
But Wilson is not wired that way.
In fact, Wilson says he’s wired like a mule.
“Yeah, I’ve always kind of had a high pain tolerance, he said, before adding: “I think ultimately it’s in your mind, it’s between your ears. It’s what you tell yourself.
“I think a lot of it is how you come back from adversity, on the field, off the field, just in life in general. Also just your will; ultimately, how bad you want to play. You also have to be smart always, but I think a lot of it is self-taught. I’m grateful for the people around me. I have a great crew to help me. The trainers here have been phenomenal, they’ve been on it every day. I’ve been getting here early morning as always, but just making sure we’re getting the treatments done. Also Drew (Morcos, his physical therapist from California) as you guys have talked about, and the massage person Carrie, as well. Just constantly being on it and treating it.
“I said, it’s the approach, it’s the mulish approach. It’s the belief that ultimately you can do it.”
Has he had to sway coach Pete Carroll into playing; the coach calls Wilson “half-crazy” in his desire to prove doubters wrong that he can’t play with injuries.
“I haven’t really tried to politic. I think that the doctors looked at my leg, they see my mobility in it, they see my strength in it,” Wilson said. “There’s nothing about politicking...
“I never don’t want to be on the field. I’ll be ready to go. You have to make a smart move, obviously when it comes to something like that, with an injury like that. I feel great. My mobility is good. I think that’s a huge part of it, just my mobility over time and continuing to work on it. Working on my flexibility and mobility, especially my hips and legs and all that. I think it’s an important thing.”
GRAHAM MISSES PRACTICE WITH NEW BACK INJURY
Here is the Seahawks’ practice participation report from Thursday:
Tight end Jimmy Graham missed another practice day with a newly listed back injury of unknown origin or severity. We don’t get to talk to the the team’s lone point of contact on injuries on Thursdays, that being Pete Carroll.
Safety Earl Thomas missed practice for what the team termed as a reason “not injury related.”
Running back Thomas Rawls remained out with a cracked fibula, and will be out for multiple weeks Carroll has said.
Tight end Nick Vannett (coming back from his high-ankle sprain that has sidelined him for the first three games) and wide receiver Tyler Lockett (the knee he sprained Sept. 18 at Los Angeles) were limited in practice.
So were outside linebacker Mike Morgan (hip) and rookie defensive tackle Jarran Reed (with a new hip injury).
Everybody else was full go.