RENTON Michael Bennett is back.
If you couldn’t hear his return from wherever you were on Wednesday.
“No, I didn’t vote for Trump,” the Seahawks’ Pro Bowl defensive end said to start his first press conference in a month.
Asked how he feels, Bennett said: “I’m black in America. I feel OK.
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“It feels decent.”
He’s missed the last five games following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee but is readying to return Sunday night when Seattle (7-3-1) hosts Carolina (4-7) at CenturyLink Field. Bennett returned to practice on Wednesday -- as did defensive backs Earl Thomas and DeShawn Shead from hamstring strains. Coach Pete Carroll has said the team is counting on Bennett playing against the Panthers.
“Yes,” Carroll reiterated Wednesday. “Again, he’s got to go through practice and see if he can make it through the week and all that.”
By the way, Bennett still doesn’t have anything good to say about Jake Matthews.
Matthews is the Falcons’ offensive lineman who cut-blocked him, legally, shoulder- and helmet-first into Bennett’s his right knee Oct. 16 during Seattle’s home win over Atlanta. That’s the play that led to Bennett needing surgery, after he played one more game on it, Oct. 23’s overtime tie at Arizona.
Bennett played 81 of the 95 snaps Seattle’s defense had in that marathon over five full quarters. He hasn’t played since.
Bennett called Matthews’ block “a (expletive) play” multiple times following that Falcons day.
“I like the Matthews’ family,” Bennett said Wednesday of his fellow former Texas A&M Aggie. “But me and Jake don’t get along right now. So, hopefully I see him again soon.”
While Frank Clark has gotten most of Bennett’s every-down snaps at end and Cliff Avril (10 sacks this season, 3 1/2 in the five games Bennett’s missed) has gotten more attention from opposing blocking schemes, Bennett said he has been at home living real life.
“Getting to take the kids to school. Clean up the kitchen,” the husband and father of three daughters said.
“It sucks not being able to play, watching everyone on TV. You just get a realization and a reality check. ...what’s important and what’s not important.”
Asked what he did during the games he missed -- a loss at New Orleans, wins over Buffalo, at New England and over Philadelphia and last weekend’s defeat at his former Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Bennett said: “Recorded it. Sometimes I watched it and watched it later. Sometimes I painted my daughter’s nails...
“You have to do daddy stuff when you are home.”
He watched a couple of the games on television with fellow Seahawks defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson, the rookie draft choice on injured reserve.
Tuesday, Bennett’s agent tweeted this:
That was after a report by the league-owned NFL Network on Oct. 30 that said the Seahawks were working on an extension of the four-year, $28.5 contract that has another year remaining on it after this one. He’s complained for two years to anyone with ears about being undervalued by that deal; considered perhaps the NFL’s best defensive linemen he was the league’s 27th-highest paid end entering this season.
So I asked Bennett how true the report or the tweet is:
“Propaganda,” he said.
He used the same word to the describe his reaction to the result of this month’s presidential election.