After Sunday's blowout loss to the Rams, Earl Thomas suggested the hobbled Wagner wasn't healthy enough to play, and Wagner responded on Twitter: "Keep my name out yo mouth."
One minute, Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner was expressing his remorse for how he handled a Twitter comment to Earl Thomas Sunday and said that the two had spoken and “ironed things out like we always do.’’
The next, Thomas stood in front of his locker and told reporters that if the two have talked it was news to him.
“There (was) no conversation,’’ said Thomas. “It is what it is. We move on. If that’s how you feel, that’s how you feel.’’
Wagner met the media at the lectern in the team’s meeting room and opened his press conference with a long statement saying he wish he had handled things better than he did Sunday, when he responded on Twitter to a statement by Thomas in an interview after the game questioning if he should have played in a 42-7 loss to the Rams.
“E keep my name out yo mouth,’’ Wagner tweeted. “Stop being jealous of other people success. I still hope you keep balling bro.” Wagner deleted the Tweet shortly after but not until it had been widely circulated.
Wagner said Wednesday that “I feel like I mishandled the situation. There was a better way of going about the situation. I could have did better and it’s one of those things where you live and you learn and that’s kind of what it is.’’
Asked if he had talked to Thomas, Wagner said: “We spoke and we ironed things out like we always do and we are moving forward. We are focused on making sure we finish this season off right. We still have a lot out there left for us and we’re excited to get back on the field.’’
Seattle coach Pete Carroll also said during his news conference Wednesday before Wagner spoke that the two perennial Pro Bowl players had hashed things out.
“They took care of it, two days ago, whenever,’’ Carroll said. “They’ve already dealt with it.’’
But Thomas indicated otherwise.
After having said there was no conversation, Thomas was asked if there was a need for the two to patch things up.
“No, there aren’t no patching,’’ Thomas said. “If that’s in your heart, it’s cool. Let’s finish strong.’’
Wagner said his tweet was due to emotions from a “frustrating game. Frustrating situation.’’
Wagner played into the third quarter despite not practicing all week and being listed as questionable with a hamstring injury that has bothered him since the week of a loss to Washington on Nov. 5.
“The game didn’t go as well as we planned and you know emotions get high and things of that nature,’’ Wagner said. “You can’t always act on them (emotions) and I am man enough to admit that.’’
And maybe that’s all this remains — two strong personalities and players regarded as among the best at their position in the NFL struggling to deal with a season that is suddenly heading in directions they never imagined.
But an apparent spat between two of the team’s stalwart players also could be viewed as indicative of a team coming apart.
Thomas was a first round pick in 2010 and immediate starter who has since been named to six Pro Bowls, fourth-most in team history.
Wagner, a second-round pick in 2012, was named this week to his fourth Pro Bowl after spending much of the season being considered as a potential candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.
Wagner played through the hamstring injury until being removed from a loss at Jacksonville two weeks ago two games into the third quarter. His absence, combined with that of linebacker K.J. Wright later in the third quarter, helped the Jaguars run away with the game in the second half.
With Wright out last week with a concussion and Wagner ailing, the Seahawks then allowed 244 yards rushing to the Rams, the most of any Seattle opponent since Carroll’s first year in 2010.
Wagner decided to play against the Rams after going through an on-field workout about two hours prior to kickoff.
Wagner said he made the call to play because the hamstring “felt like it did all the other weeks.’’
But he said he noticed quickly things weren’t the same.
“Just didn’t feel like I had that burst to kind of make some of the plays that I was used to making,’’ Wagner said.
Wagner came out after the Rams scored to take a 40-0 lead in the third quarter.
Thomas, asked afterward about trying to cope with so many injured players on defense, said “to be totally honest, I think you have to give your hats off to Wags and a couple guys that played, but my personal opinion, I don’t think they should have played. The backups would have did just as good. The injuries – Kam (Chancellor), Sherm (Richard Sherman), K.J. (Wright) – they definitely hurt today.”
Asked Wednesday about the run defense against the Rams, Thomas used it as a chance to try to explain his answer about Wagner.
“Just gap integrity and we just wasn’t getting there,’’ Thomas said. “As far as my observation on Wags, he’s just hurting, you know? And it wasn’t just him. That just stuck out in my mind. But we’ve got to be gap sound.’’
Thomas then added to a somewhat disquieting day when he didn’t exactly splash water on the idea that his future with the team is uncertain.
An NFL.com report after Sunday’s loss reported that Thomas “could be gone after this season’’ because the team could anticipate that he will hold out in desire of a new contract that would pay him at least $13 million a year to match that of Kansas City’s Eric Berry. Thomas’ current contract, which pays him $10 million a season, runs through the 2018 season but the Seahawks typically address the situations of their core players before the final year of the deal.
“The Seahawks could sign Thomas to a long-term deal, but if they balk and anticipate a potential holdout, they conceivably might look to trade him after the season,’’ NFL.com reported.
Asked about his future, Thomas said: “Man, I know whoever gets me, I’m balling. That’s it. And I know I’m hot. So it is what it is.’’
Asked a followup if the contract the team gave to safety Kam Chancellor before the start of the season makes him feel like there is a place for him with the Seahawks, Thomas said “I don’t know. Actions speak louder than words. So I don’t know.’’