RENTON — It’s uncertain if or when Josh Gordon will be allowed to return to the NFL.
The Seahawks receiver was indefinitely suspended by the league Monday for using both performance-enhancing drugs and substances of abuse, and the suspension would seem likely to last well into next season.
But if/when Gordon is cleared, quarterback Russell Wilson says he would welcome him back to the team with open arms.
“Hopefully he’ll get another chance to play with us because he was fun to play with,” Wilson said during his weekly meeting with the media Thursday. “He was great. He got along with the guys great. Great worker. Had all those attributes in terms of trying to be great, in terms of practicing and being ready to play. Guys really bonded with him and really liked him. I know I did and everybody else, too. We feel for him. We’re just praying for him.”
Wilson, in fact, says he has stayed in touch with Gordon and hopes the latest struggle to beat addiction — the suspension was the eighth for Gordon since he entered the league in 2012 — will be is last.
“I got pretty close with Josh,” Wilson said. “You’re going to miss him obviously as a player, but more importantly as a friend and as a guy you bonded with pretty quickly. We’ve been staying in touch and all that. I just pray for him. I really believe that prayer works. I really believe that relationships and friendships work in supporting no matter what we go through.
“We all have stuff. We all have things that we go through. I’m just praying for him and rooting for him. He’ll overcome.”
Five defensive starters sit out practice
Seven Seahawks sat out practice Thursday due to injury, including five defensive starters — linebackers Bobby Wagner (ankle) and Mychal Kendricks (hamstring), defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (core), cornerback Shaquill Griffin (hamstring) and safety Quandre Diggs (ankle).
Also out were defensive tackle Al Woods (ankle) and left tackle Duane Brown (knee/biceps).
Woods and Brown have often sat out in recent weeks and played Sunday against Carolina, and they are expected to play this weekend against Arizona.
But Diggs appears likely out this week. Coach Pete Carroll and Wagner have intimated that he will be OK to play, while hedging on confirming that he will.
But the other three — Griffin, Kendricks and Clowney — appear to be game-time decisions. The fact that they did not practice Thursday was ominous.
Clowney again sat out after Carroll had said before Wednesday’s practice that he would get some work. Clowney has yet to practice this week.
He suffered the core injury Nov. 11 against the 49ers. He didn’t make the trip to Carolina while battling an illness.
The Seahawks also listed four players as limited: center Joey Hunt (fibula), receiver Tyler Lockett (non-injury-related), guard Mike Iupati (neck/ankle) and tight end Luke Willson (hamstring).
A really big dinner bill
As revealed by some of them via social media, the Seahawks’ defensive backs held their annual rookie dinner this week, which resulted in a bill for the rookies of more than $17,500.
That’s a lot, but veterans said it’s par for the course for something that is considered a rite of passage in the NFL.
“I mean, $17,000 is a pretty good chunk of change now,” said guard D.J. Fluker, who was a first-round draft pick by the Chargers in 2013. “For a rookie dinner, I mean, I spent a little bit more my rookie year. I tell ya, $27,000 is a lot of money. My rookie deal, I still have my receipt. It was crazy.”
Wilson’s college memory
A question about how he would remember this decade as it closes led Wilson to take a walk down memory lane, and eventually to recalling a story when he says he was asked by then-coach Tom O’Brien to move to safety during his freshman season at North Carolina State in 2008.
“I never forget, I was going to get moved to safety my freshman year,” he said. “Spring practice. I’m in Tom O’Brien’s office, and he told me, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about moving you to safety.’ I was emotional. I was like, ‘What?’
“I played DB in high school. I played corner. I played quarterback and all that. All of that and then, I remember, I said give me 24 hours. I remember talking to my dad. My dad (Harrison Wilson) was on his deathbed at the time. He was in a coma. I remember talking to my brother and really praying about it to myself and just asking, ‘God, what do you want?’
“I remember going back in his office and telling him, right in his office, I said, ‘Listen, I’m going to play quarterback for you. You’re going to name me your starter in three days, I’m going to be freshman All-American. I’m going to try to be first-team All-ACC. I’m going to win multiple Super Bowls.’ I said it just like that. He looked at me like I was crazy at the time.”
As may not need noting, Wilson stayed at quarterback and won the starting job that fall, though he left N.C. State following his junior year in 2010 and spent his final season at Wisconsin.