Russell Wilson says his body doesn't usually feel normal until Thursday. But this Thursday, the Seahawks take on Arizona on the road in an NFC West matchup.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson spends his Sunday afternoons running from defenders, darting around and trying to make the gasp-inducing plays with his rocket right arm that you’ve seen so frequently over the years.
But after getting knocked to the turf and tackled by 200-pound moving projectiles multiple times a game, Wilson generally needs about three days for his body to recover from its weekly beating.
“Usually, it’s Thursday that I feel normal again,” Wilson said Tuesday. “Playing football is a very physical game.”
This week, with the Seahawks operating on a condensed schedule to play at Arizona on Thursday, Wilson and his teammates won’t have the luxury of going through their usual post-game recovery schedule.
Wilson still enforces his recovery routine – “pre-hab, I call it,” he says. But by the time his body feels fully recovered this week, he’ll be suiting up to play the Cardinals instead of finishing up the last full practice of the week.
“The key point is to make sure you’re resting as much as you can in terms of moving around and stuff, and you’re icing your body down, get in the hot tub, cold tub. I swim a lot, so that really helps too,” Wilson said.
The Seahawks need Wilson to keep his legs fresh. The quarterback’s scrambling ability has been Seattle’s most effective weapon in its anemic ground game of late.
Wilson led Seattle with 30 rushing yards in the win over Houston two weeks ago, and last week, against Washington, he was once again the Seahawks’ best runner, accounting for 77 of Seattle’s 148 rushing yards in the loss.
The ineffectiveness of the running game has been a constant struggle for the Seahawks this year, and their stable of backs got a little thinner Sunday when Eddie Lacy suffered a groin injury.
With Lacy out, Thomas Rawls carried nine times and compiled 39 yards, while J.D. McKissic had three carries for 12 yards. So Wilson’s legs once again helped keep the Washington defense honest and sparked the offense at critical junctures.
“I do think we can run the ball better,” Wilson said. “I think we can commit to that and do a better job of spreading some holes for Eddie and J.D. and those guys. That will come. That will happen. But we’ve got to stay the course.
“I do think our passing game is doing a really good job right now, and guys are making great plays.”
Wilson also sang praises of his new left tackle, former All-Pro Duane Brown, who started his first game as a Seahawk last week.
Wilson said Brown has made a seamless transition to the Seahawks’ starting lineup and that his experience has made an immediate impact on Seattle’s young offensive line.
“It’s been kind of amazing to watch how impressive Duane Brown is. He’s a true Pro Bowl, All-Pro type player, a guy who’s done it for years,” Wilson said. “That’s when the experience and the knowledge and the understanding of the game (comes in), just the actual playing ball.
“There’s not too many things you can substitute for playing ball. At the end of the day it comes down to getting out there and getting on the field and being between the white lines. And at the end of the day, he’s done that, at a very high level.”
But even Brown was not immune to the penalty bug that inflicted the Seahawks last week. Brown had a false start penalty and the offensive line accounted for six of Seattle’s 16 penalties in the defeat to Washington.
Many of those were self-inflicted issues like the three holding calls and the three false starts.
“We have to be a little bit smarter in the moment,” Wilson said, adding “Holding (calls) are the worst penalties in football. No matter what side you’re on, offense, defense or special teams.
“For us, we’re playing hard. That’s the exciting part. We’re playing as tough as we can play and that’s what we want. We’ve just got to be a bit smarter and I know we’ll fix that.”
The Seahawks’ last road game against the Cardinals was a defensive affair that ended in a 6-6 tie in overtime. Arizona leads the series against the Seahawks 18-17-1, but the teams have split the last couple of games, with Seattle beating Arizona at home last December, and the Cardinals winning in 36-6 in Arizona in January 2016.
“It’s an NFC West matchup. Two great teams with great players on both sides,” Wilson said. “Whenever you go down to Arizona or they come to us, we know it’s gonna be a heavyweight fight.”