RENTON Turns out, Russell Wilson does sleep.
“On a normal week, probably 5 hours (per night). I don’t need much more,” the Seahawks’ franchise quarterback said Thursday, three days before his home showdown with fellow NFC division-leader Atlanta.
“Ever since I was little I would get up early in the mornings. It’s just how I am. In college too, I took 18 credits every semester. I played football and baseball. Get up for spring football practice, go to baseball games. I’m just used to it. It’s one of those things that, I’m excited to get up in the mornings. Every time I get to wake up and come to this job, and every time I get to come to practice and every time there is a game, I look forward to the opportunity.
“I can sleep in the offseason if I need to, get a couple extra hours. But in terms of during the season, my job is to win and do whatever it takes to win.”
That scant sleep for the QB known for his constant Twitter hashtag #NoTime2Sleep -- he did it again on Thursday ...
... has been cut in half this last month. He’s flown his personal physical therapist up from California and had his personal masseuse with him. They have instituted a program that includes Wilson getting up in the middle of the night to continue his rehabilitation for a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee and what is believed to be a high-ankle sprain in his right leg.
Wilson’s been doing that since the night of Sept. 11, when he sprained his ankle in the opening win over Miami. He even did it last week during Seattle’s bye, when he flew to California to get “Vitamin D” for his recovery, he joked.
“Yeah, I do. Definitely,” he said of awakening in the tiny hours for rehab. “I set my alarm and all that and make sure I have everything ready to go and it’s just right there. Consistently icing, consistency stretching. Doing all that stuff.”
“The purpose is to stay on top of it, have the same approach. Keep continuously getting better, continuously getting stronger. I feel great, though.”
The constant, 3-a.m.-ish rehab and the minimal sleep are working.
Wilson has yet to miss a practice, let alone a game, since his two sprains. At 3-1 this season, his career regular-season record with Seattle is now 49-19. That’s the most wins by a quarterback in the first first four seasons plus one month of a career in NFL history.
But he isn’t running as he had been been before last month.
That, in turn, has limited the Seahawks’ entire running game.
With lead back Thomas Rawls out into next month with a cracked fibula and Christine Michael unproven and perhaps in danger of getting banged up himself as pretty much the entire rushing offense solo, the Seahawks’ run game will be its usual force again only when Wilson is just about fully healthy again.
I asked Wilson how close he is to being fully healthy, after not having to practice last week or play in a game since he threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns Oct. 2 to beat the New York Jets.
“I don’t know,” he said, coyly. “I guess you’ll see on Sunday. We’ll have to find out.”
Expect Wilson to still be short of his normal self on Sunday. Sprained MCLs like the one he got Sept. 25 against San Francisco usually take longer than a couple weeks to heal. Same with a high-ankle sprain: rookie tight end Nick Vannett is trying to make his regular-season debut this weekend on a grade 3 high-ankle sprain he got nearly two months ago.
So the Seahawks are likely to do more uncharacteristically heavier passing compared to running against the Falcons. Even in the expected heavy rain during this weekend of strong wind and storms in Western Washington.
Forecasters say at Sunday’s 1:25 p.m. kickoff there is an 80-percent chance of rain with winds expected to be 16 to 20 mph.
“Wind’s always a factor, for sure,” Wilson said. “Rain and stuff like that is not as much as a factor -- unless it’s just hailing like I think it was against the Saints in the playoff game. That was pretty bad.”
Wilson was nine of 18 passing for 103 yards on Jan. 11, 2014, when Seattle used Marshawn Lynch’s running at home over New Orleans 23-15 on its way to winning Super Bowl 48. It is the fewest passing yards Wilson’s had in a postseason game.
“I don’t think rain is really a factor. It’s more just the winds, “Wilson said. “You always have to know how to play that. We’ll see what it is on Sunday.”