Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday afternoon that quarterback Russell Wilson will practice on Wednesday and plans to play Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams.
RENTON — Twenty-four hours later, Pete Carroll said, it was as if nothing had happened to Russell Wilson.
“He’s walking around today, you can hardly tell anything’s wrong with him,’’ the Seahawks coach said during his weekly news conference Monday.
Wilson suffered a sprained ankle early in the third quarter of Sunday’s 12-10 victory over Miami, but after a few anxious moments as he had it examined and worked on, Wilson returned to play the rest of the game.
Carroll expressed little doubt that Wilson will play Sunday at Los Angeles, as well.
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X-rays revealed no structural damage, and Carroll said, “He’s practicing on Wednesday. He’s planning on playing.’’
If that surprises some, it no longer does Carroll. Wilson has not missed a snap in a game (nor has he missed a practice) due to injury since becoming Seattle’s quarterback in 2012.
Wilson battled a shoulder injury at midseason in 2013 and took a hard hit to the head in the 2015 NFC Championship Game. But Sunday was as close as Wilson has come to missing a snap.
“He’s been banged up at times,” Carroll said. “They’re not injuries but things that have bothered him and stuff. Just stuff that happens over the course of getting pounded on. His attitude’s just always been the same. He never flinches. He never wavers. So this is the first time he’s really had something that we’d consider an injury that you’ve got to talk about.”
Carroll said Wilson’s approach to the injury was the same as with everything else.
“He almost welcomed the challenge and had an attitude about, ‘Ok, here we go. I’m going to do this,’ ” Carroll said. “ … We’ll help him in practice during the week to make sure we take care of him. But he’s planning on playing. There’s no question in his mind he’s not playing.”
Carroll said the team will consider options to add another quarterback to work with Trevone Boykin as a backup behind Wilson.
But the apparent quick recovery of Wilson seems to indicate he’ll make his 66th consecutive regular-season start Sunday.
Carroll, in fact, noted that Wilson seemed to recover as the Miami game wore on.
Initially, the team called plays that allowed him to hang in the pocket and not have to run much. But on the critical final drive, Wilson ran four yards, looking not much different from his usual self.
“He was better the more he realized what it was, what was going on, what it felt like,” Carroll said. “Right at first, it was a little bit difficult for him and then as it quieted down a little bit, he did fine.”
As much as Wilson’s quick recovery skills awed Carroll on Sunday, so did evidence of his maturation as a quarterback.
After the Seahawks had been surprisingly stagnant all game, save for a quick drive at the end of the first half for a field goal, Wilson led Seattle 75 yards in 14 plays to score the winning touchdown.
Seattle converted two fourth downs to get close, then scored with 31 seconds left on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Doug Baldwin.
The play, which came on second-and-goal, was scheduled to be a run. But when Wilson noticed the Dolphins playing man press coverage on Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse lined up to the left, and with no safety in the area, he switched it to a pass.
Only, he did so subtly enough that only Wilson and the receivers knew of the change with the rest of the team following through with the called run play. As Wilson faked a handoff to Christine Michael, Kearse broke in while Baldwin ran a fade to the corner of the end zone behind Miami’s Bobby McCain to break open.
“That was done perfectly in a crucial situation,” Carroll said. “Everybody, the guys that had to do something, just did it perfectly. You couldn’t tell what we were signaling. You couldn’t tell. The messaging was just hidden beautifully, and the throw and catch was perfect, you know. So that’s just an indication of a lot of hard work. It takes a long time to do stuff like that.
“To see the right situation, to communicate it properly, then to go ahead and execute and all that. That just doesn’t happen. You’d luck out a few years ago to do that right. But now that’s the kind of stuff I talk about when I say about how far Russell has come and how the communication and chemistry that they have. Those are really illustrations of that.”