By Brady Henderson
Worried about all the hits Russell Wilson has taken this season?
Not only is Russell Wilson on pace to be sacked more times than any quarterback in Seahawks history, but he’s taking additional hits in the running game. (AP)
“I feel great. My body feels fine,” the Seahawks quarterback said Thursday when he joined “Wyman, Mike and Moore” on 710 ESPN Seattle.
The Seahawks’ pass protection has been spotty at times this season and almost non-existent at others, leading to questions about whether their most important player is too often finding himself in harm’s way.
It’s been an even bigger topic this week after the Seahawks allowed seven sacks in their win over St. Louis. That brought to 27 the number of times Wilson has been sacked this year, which puts him on pace to break the franchise record of 52 set in 1985 by Dave Krieg.
The sack total doesn’t tell the whole story about the amount of contact Wilson has taken this season, though. He’s been hit an additional 19 times over the last two weeks alone, and that doesn’t include the number of times he’s been tackled on read-option runs or scrambles that didn’t end with him sliding or getting out of bounds.
The Seahawks have the stated goal of being the best scrambling team in the NFL, but whether he’s running to escape pressure or it’s by design, Wilson has been encouraged to stay out of the danger zone that is the middle of the field. That’s no guarantee that he won’t be hit, though. Against St. Louis, for example, Wilson was tackled hard on consecutive runs near the goal line.
For as much conversation as there’s been about his health, Wilson has not once appeared on an injury report this season nor at any point seemed to be shaken up after a play. He said his build has something to do with that. While he’s short by NFL quarterback standards, he’s by no means small.
“I’m kind of a stocky guy,” said the 206-pound Wilson, “so I can take those hits.”
Even if he continues to avoid injury, there’s a question as to whether the cumulative effect of all the hits Wilson has taken will catch up to him in the second half of the season, especially as the Seahawks continue to play with backups at both offensive tackle spots and include designed runs in their offense.
“I take care of myself,” Wilson said. “I think that’s the most important thing, just taking care of myself, being consistent in my approach. I’m fine.”
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.