Pete Carroll: Russell Wilson has MCL sprain; Thomas Rawls out ‘a few weeks’
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” that the knee injury that forced quarterback Russell Wilson out of Sunday’s game is a sprained MCL. Carroll said Wilson is doing “unbelievable” a day after sustaining the injury, but he didn’t rule out the possibility that Seattle could sit him next week against the Jets.
Carroll also said running back Thomas Rawls will be out “a few weeks” after the team learned that his leg injury is more serious than initially thought.
Wilson, already playing on a sprained right ankle, was injured in the third quarter of Sunday’s win over San Francisco when he was taken down awkwardly with a horse-collar tackle, bending his left knee. Carroll confirmed Monday morning that an MRI revealed an MCL sprain.
“I just left him,” Carroll said. “He’s unbelievable, OK. He feels great. He’s been rehabbing all night and doing his thing, and he can move around, he’s walking fine. You can’t tell anything. He’s really excited about the thought that he could be able to maybe get through this thing. His ankle came out great. Didn’t have any issues with that at all.”
Carroll added about Wilson’s knee sprain: “He’s responded beautifully to it. We’ll give him a couple days and see if anything changes with that, but the first report, getting up in the morning, getting up in the middle of the night and doing his rehab, turned out just exceedingly well.”
The Seahawks have a bye after playing the Jets on Sunday. Asked if there’s any thought to sitting Wilson in order to give him two weeks of rest, Carroll said: “I think there’s, obviously there’s consideration for that. With an extra couple weeks, it would help everybody if they could sit out for a while. They’d all get healed. But we’ll see what happens. We’re going to do the right thing. We’re going to make sure that we’re very careful.
“He’s an extraordinary person. We have to listen very carefully because he’s going to will it and he’s going to only feel that he can do everything. So we’ve just got to see through it and make sure that we’re supporting him properly to help him protect himself.”
Wilson said after the game that he didn’t believe the injury was as severe as it may have looked, adding that he’ll be “good to go.”
If Wilson does play Sunday, Carroll said it would likely be with a brace on his left knee. Seahawks trainers fitted Wilson for one on the sideline after he left Sunday’s game. He missed one play right after his injury then returned to finish the drive, but his day was done after that.
Carroll said Wilson could have continued playing had the game been closer. Instead, backup Trevone Boykin took over and went 7 of 9 for 65 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Boykin, an undrafted rookie, is the only other quarterback on the Seahawks’ active roster, so they could make a move this week to bolster that position. Seattle has Jake Heaps on its practice squad.
Carroll was asked how an MCL sprain could limit a player.
“It’s about stability,” Carroll said. “If he’s stable enough – and that’s why guys wear braces with those – and as long as they’re stable, they’re fine. And there’s some discomfort with it, but he doesn’t feel any of that, so that’s not going to be the issue most likely. It’s just about, is he really stable and safe to play, and the brace will help him with that. I would anticipate he’ll be in a brace for game day. And we’ll see what that means.”
Would Wilson risk further injury to his knee by playing?
“Well, there’s always risk. There’s always risk,” Carroll said. “That’s what we’re going to determine. There’s accidents that happen, too. We’ll gauge all that and see where we are and make a good decision on it.”
Rawls, meanwhile, was injured in Week 2 against the Rams. He didn’t practice last week and was inactive Sunday as Christine Michael got the start, rushing for a career-high 106 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
Carroll last week described Rawls’ injury as a strain in a muscle around his shin. He clarified Monday that the issue is with Rawls’ fibula. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that it’s a hairline fracture.
“We got a little bit of bad news on that one,” Carroll said. “His fibula is what is injured and it’s a little bit worse than we thought and it showed up a little bit more today. It’s going to take him a few weeks to get back so, unfortunately, he’s not going to bounce back. We weren’t quite sure, but it just was clear today and all of the doc’s observations (that) we’re going to have to sit and wait on him for a little bit.
“It’s nothing you can do about it. He’s not going to be in a cast or even in the boot, but it’s going to take a little while. It’s really sore and he’s just going to have to wait it out.”
Carroll added that the injury is entirely unrelated to Rawls’ previously broken ankle.
Other injury updates from Carroll:
• He said the Seahawks are “kind of counting on” right guard Germain Ifedi returning to practice this week. Ifedi has been out since sustaining a high-ankle sprain four days before Seattle’s regular-season opener.
• Tight end Nick Vannett will “for sure will for sure be working to get back in the game,” Carroll said. Vannett sustained a high-ankle sprain of his own in Seattle’s second preseason game and returned to practice late last week.
• Carroll was uncertain about running back C.J. Prosise returning this week, saying that the issue is whether or not he can handle the football with a cast protecting his injured hand. Carroll said the Seahawks need Prosise back with Rawls now out.