Sports

Wilson has ‘no doubt’ he’ll play Sunday

gbell@thenewstribune.com

Quarterback Russell Wilson is determined to start for the Seahawks when they face the New York Jets on Sunday.
Quarterback Russell Wilson is determined to start for the Seahawks when they face the New York Jets on Sunday. The Associated Press

Risking his health?

Russell Wilson doesn’t compute such odds.

“I don’t think about risk,” the Seahawks’ quarterback said before being a full participant in practice again on Thursday.

It was the latest sign Wilson will start for the 78th consecutive time for Seattle (2-1) at MetLife Stadium on Sunday against the Jets (1-2).

That, despite a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee on top of a sprained right ankle.

Those injuries this month have many thinking it’d be best for Wilson to sit out this game and then rest again during next week’s bye to be in better shape for the 12 games the Seahawks will play over 12 weekends to end the regular season.

Whatever, Wilson says.

Asked if he will be ready to play Sunday he said: “No doubt. No doubt.”

It’s becoming apparent Wilson is going to play with a brace over the left knee he sprained when San Francisco’s Eli Harold pulled him down by the top of his shoulder pads on a sack last Sunday.

Wilson’s been wearing sweatpants over a knee brace 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.”

Yet Sunday won’t feature the normal, elusive Wilson, the one who usually masks pass-protection issues by running away from and around pressure to make big plays. He 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 last weekend instead of getting pulled down and injured.

Wilson figures to be relatively stationary Sunday against Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, Leonard Williams and the Jets’ often-nasty defensive front.

Yet Wilson is not wired to take a game off.

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.”

Wilson has flown up from California his physical therapist and also had his masseuse working on him.

“It’s the mulish approach,” he said. “It’s the belief that ultimately you can do it.”

Coach Pete Carroll calls Wilson “half-crazy” in his desire to prove doubters wrong that he can’t play with injuries.

Has Wilson had to lobby Carroll to play Sunday?

“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.

“I never don’t want to be on the field. I’ll be ready to go.”

SPILLER COULD PLAY SUNDAY

C.J. Spiller has had just one practice as a Seahawk.

Yet running backs coach Sherman Smith thinks the 2012 Pro Bowler can contribute right away. As in, Sunday against the Jets, three days after his first Seahawks practice.

“I don’t think it’s unrealistic to expect that,” Smith said.

“It’s just their ability to learn and soak in what we are trying to do, and not to be unrealistic in what we are asking of him. But what we are asking of him, I think he could do it, if we said, ‘Hey, man, we give you a group of plays,’ whatever, he’ll be able to handle it.”

“He’s picking stuff up pretty good. Moves pretty good out there. So I think he’s just getting acclimated to what we’re doing.”

Spiller, 29, signed Wednesday a minimum contract to help provide depth behind Christine Michael with lead back Thomas Rawls out injured. New Orleans unexpectedly released Spiller Sept. 13 after a little more than one season with the Saints.

His arrival for the rest of this season underlines that the Seahawks expect Rawls to remain out with a broken bone in his leg well beyond next week’s bye. Spiller’s signing could also be an indicator of rookie third-down back C.J. Prosise’s difficulty trying to catch passes with a protective device over a broken bone in his hand.

The Seahawks listed Prosise as a full participant in practices Wednesday and Thursday. He was catching passes from Wilson in the first 30 minutes of practice Thursday the team permits the media to watch.

Spiller worked out for the Jets on Tuesday. Now he could be playing against them Sunday.

“It’s not a definite that I’m going to play this week,” he reiterated. “Obviously, you want to, but at the same time you want to be smart considering I haven’t played football in four weeks. So you don’t want to go out there and put yourself in a situation where you hamper your body, we want to be smart.

“If I do go on the trip it would be good to go back. I’m familiar with those guys considering I was with Buffalo for five years. Even though they had some change, some turnover with their personnel they still kind of do the same stuff.”

SORE BACK KEEPS GRAHAM ON SIDELINE

Tight end Jimmy Graham missed a second consecutive practice with a newly listed back injury of unknown origin or severity.

Safety Earl Thomas missed practice for what the team termed as a reason “not injury related.”

Rawls remained out with his cracked fibula, and will be out for multiple weeks, Carroll has said.

Rookie tight end Nick Vannett, sidelined the first three games by a high-ankle sprain, and wide receiver Tyler Lockett (knee) were limited in practice. So were outside linebacker Mike Morgan (hip) and rookie defensive tackle Jarran Reed (with a new hip injury).

Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle

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