BRADY HENDERSON

Pete Carroll optimistic about Russell Wilson playing through knee sprain

Sep 26, 2016, 5:27 PM | Updated: 5:48 pm
"He looks fine," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said about quarterback Russell Wilson's sprained MCL. ...
"He looks fine," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said about quarterback Russell Wilson's sprained MCL. (AP)
(AP)

RENTON – Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is optimistic about Russell Wilson playing through his sprained knee, so much so that he said he expects to have the quarterback available for Sunday’s game against the Jets.

“Yes,” Carroll said Monday afternoon before following up with a qualifier. “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 so far.”

Already playing with a sprained right ankle, Wilson hurt his left knee in the third quarter of the Seahawks’ win over San Francisco on Sunday, leaving the game for one play and then for good after returning to finish that drive. Carroll confirmed to 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” Monday morning that an MRI revealed an MCL sprain and said that Wilson feels “unbelievable” a day after the injury. During the show, Carroll left open the possibility of Seattle sitting Wilson on Sunday knowing that with the bye coming next, that would give him two weeks of rest.

But other comments from Carroll on “Brock and Salk” and in his afternoon press conference left a pretty strong impression that there’s a better chance of Wilson playing Sunday than not. He’s never missed a game due to injury in his NFL career, and it doesn’t sound like Carroll thinks it’ll happen this week.

He said Wilson’s ankle is doing better than it was last week and that he looked good moving around on it Sunday. Wilson’s knee, Carroll said, “looks fine.”

“I’m not that deeply concerned about it,” Carroll said. “I wish it didn’t happen, that he didn’t get banged, but I think he’s going to be alright.”

And apparently so does Wilson. Carroll said “he’s remarkably well off for having a play like that. He looks very good, very upbeat and positive about feeling like he’s going to be fine. So it was just all positive.”

Carroll declined to specify the grade of Wilson’s MCL sprain. Whatever it is, Carroll said it’s not uncommon to play through it. So Wilson will attempt to beginning on Wednesday, when the plan is for him to practice.

Carroll was asked how long the injury could bother Wilson if he continues playing as opposed to resting.

“I don’t know that I could call that, but you’ve got to have a little bit of good luck, you’ve got to get through it, and like any kind of injury, it’s always about how the guy responds from the work and does he make it back after working hard. We’ll find out how that goes.

“What he has, a lot of guys play with. This is something that our trainers have been through a number of times, and they know that this is really possible that he’ll be fine. But he still has to respond to the work on Wednesday and Thursday and we’ll see how he gets through it. We’ll be watching it very closely to do the right thing to make sure that we ensure his health and his well-being moving forward and our team’s well-being moving forward and all that. We’ll take all that into account.”

Wilson and undrafted rookie Trevone Boykin are the only quarterbacks on Seattle’s active roster, though Jake Heaps is on the practice squad. The Seahawks are considering the available quarterback options, Carroll said, but any decision will depend on how Wilson progresses.

“We kind of always do that in this situation. We’re looking and we know what’s going on. John’s on that, and we’ve already talked about all that stuff,” Carroll said, referring to general manager John Schneider. “So we’ll see what happens. Wednesday is a big day to see where he is.”

Boykin relieved Wilson on Sunday with mixed results, completing 7 of 9 attempts for 65 yards, a touchdown, an interception and a 94.2 rating. He looked crisp while two straight scoring drives, one that was aided by a short field and ended with a field goal and another that he capped with a touchdown pass. Carroll liked what he saw from Boykin, minus the interception.

“I think it was really good just to get out there,” Carroll said. “He threw the ball around a little bit – a little too much – but we got to see him on the field. It’s good for him. It’s good for the players to see him out there, too. We’ve watched him a lot and seen a lot from him of course in preseason and in practice, and he’s a very poised, comfortable athlete. He’s not going to get flustered, and he showed that again the other day, and that’s just a good sign.

“We’re excited to see what he can do. He can make plays, make things happen. You saw him, he looked pretty sharp for coming off the bench like that, and that’s about all we should hope for.”

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