GLENDALE, Ariz. — It’s the kind of scenario that each person who faces it might handle differently.
For Will Dissly, there was no reason to try to pretend that this wasn’t where the worst injury of his football career had occurred, one that gave him a few brief moments of wondering if he’d ever play again.
Instead, as he walked onto the field at State Farm Stadium almost a year to the day from when he had torn the patellar tendon in his right knee — he suffered the injury on Sept. 30, 2018 — Dissly decided to meet it head on.
During warmups, Dissly lined up near the same spot on the field and ran the same route on which he had been injured.
“I caught the same flat route and I turned up and I ran and I said, ‘Hey, my knee works,’ ’’ Dissly said.
And in that moment, Dissly said, the injury officially became a part of his past, to be remembered but never to be dwelled on again.
“From that point on I put it behind me and I was ready to go play a game,’’ Dissly said.
Quarterback Russell Wilson understood the symbolism of the moment immediately.
“We went over there, I kind of just looked at him (and) he knew,’’ Wilson said. “It was just kind of one of those looks.’’
Dissly then played the same kind of game he has all season — meaning, one that continues to confound those who saw him as mostly a blocking tight end during his years at the University of Washington.
Dissly caught a team-high seven receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown. The score came on a 9-yard pass early in the second quarter that put the Seahawks up 17-3 in a game they would go on to win 27-10.
The touchdown came on a wheel route, and Dissly lamented a little bit that a penalty on Arizona muted the initial celebration before the officials announced the play was good and Dissly handed the ball to center Justin Britt to spike.
“He just continues to be a really, really dependable football player,’’ coach Pete Carroll said of Dissly.
What Dissly had to overcome to get to this moment wasn’t lost on Carroll. Carroll admitted after the game that when the Seahawks left the field here a year ago he really had no idea when Dissly might return, or what kind of player he would be.
“You don’t know that one because it’s a big, big injury in the end,’’ Carroll said. “We had hoped that he would make it back by this season. That’s what we were shooting for. He made it back before that, but he’s better right now than he’s ever been.’’
Dissly recently won the team’s Ed Block Courage Award for his recovery.
But Dissly said the greatest reward is simply being able to play again.
“I’m just grateful to be playing football again,’’ Dissly said.
Luke Willson a little nervous but makes big play
Luke Willson spent the first three weeks of the NFL season working out in San Francisco, hoping that a team would come calling.
One did Tuesday — the Seahawks — allowing Willson to return to the team he called his own from 2013 to 2017.
Sunday, he finally got to take the field again, his first action since last season with the Lions other than in the preseason with the Raiders.
And if Willson was excited to again officially be a Seahawk, he was also, as he said, “a little nervous.’’
“I can run on public fields in San Francisco and lift in a couple of gyms in San Francisco as much as I want — it’s not the same as playing ball,’’ Willson said. “And neither is the preseason. So it was kind of good to come out here and be able to contribute.’’
Willson had two catches for 26 yards, one a 17-yarder that converted a third-and-two from the Seattle 46 with 7:49 left that sparked a 15-play touchdown drive that sewed up the game.
Russell Wilson had to evade pressure to get off the pass to Willson, who then had to make a diving grab.
But if the play looked a little extemporaneous, each said it was designed to go to Willson.
“It wasn’t the cleanest route I ever ran in my life,’’ said Willson. Linebacker Jordan Hicks was called for illegal contact on the play, “but it worked out,’’ Willson added.
Said Wilson: “We thought he was going to get open a little quicker — it took him a second. Meanwhile, I have (D.J.) Swearinger and Chandler Jones running after me.’’
Added Willson: “I’m just glad he trusted me to throw it.’’
Willson also saw ample action on special teams and said he particularly enjoyed what might seem like relatively unglamorous duty — the punt team.
“Just being back on the punt team, I really enjoyed my time on the punt team when I was here,’’ Willson said. “I was pretty excited to be involved in that part of it.’’
Tedric Thompson returns
Tedric Thompson started the Seahawks’ season opener against Cincinnati at free safety, just as he had for 10 games last season.
But when he had a couple of misplays in the game, and then suffered a hamstring injury that caused him to miss the next two games, it was tempting to wonder if he’d lost his job.
Instead, with Thompson healthy he was again the starter Sunday with Lano Hill — who started in place of Thompson — on the bench.
Hill actually came in for one series in the second quarter, a drive in which the Cardinals moved 55 yards and then missed a field goal.
Otherwise, Thompson got all the snaps alongside Bradley McDougald during what might have been the best day this season for the Seattle secondary.
“I think the whole back end played great,’’ Carroll said. “Nothing went up top. We kept them underneath us the whole day. … We’re making progress.’’
Penny inactive but will return for Rams
Second-year running back Rashaad Penny was one of Seattle’s seven inactive players due to a hamstring injury he suffered in practice a week ago Friday.
Penny also sat out last Sunday against the Saints. The Seahawks had listed him questionable for the game with Carroll saying Friday he had a chance to play.
“He was dying to play in this game,’’ Carroll said.
But Carroll said the team wanted to do the prudent thing and give him a few more days to recover — Carroll said Penny will be available for the game Thursday night against the Rams.
“Hamstring don’t usually come back just like that so we just erred on the conservative side,’’ Carroll said. “He’ll be ready for Thursday.’’
Seahawks come out of game healthy
The Seahawks did not appear to suffer any new injuries, a nice break in a trend of the past few years against Arizona.