RENTON — Russell Wilson had no time to think when he spun out of a sack attempt by San Francisco’s Dontae Johnson and away from Nick Bosa during the third quarter Sunday.
He just needed to find a receiver, and quick.
Wilson did, spying Freddie Swain in the corner of the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown that put Seattle in control of an eventual 28-21 victory over the 49ers.
The touchdown was the fourth of Swain’s NFL career and second in the past three games as he has gotten increasing playing time with rookie Dee Eskridge sidelined with a concussion.
And to Wilson, it didn’t matter that on one of the game’s biggest plays he was throwing to Swain, a sixth-round draft choice a year ago out of Florida, rather than one of the dynamic duo of Tyler Lockett or DK Metcalf.
“You trust him,” Wilson said. “That’s the biggest thing in playing this quarterback position and the receiving dynamic — you have to trust those guys. Trust where (they) are going to be, how (they) are going to be there. And then when something does go crazy, does go awry, can you show up? And I think that he shows up in a great way.”
When did Swain know he’d earned Wilson’s trust?
“Probably just being on the field,” he said. “Pretty sure you wouldn’t be out there if Russ wouldn’t trust you.”
Wilson said a key moment in that trust came this summer when Swain was among the players who worked out with him in San Diego. Wilson said he was impressed by Swain’s attention to detail and that he felt he was “playing for a purpose. …. If you tell him one thing, you don’t have to tell him again. He gets it.”
Swain played regularly a year ago in a reserve role, catching 13 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns. But he had just three catches for 25 yards in the final seven games of the season.
The drafting of Eskridge seemed to indicate he’d be battling for a fourth or fifth receiver role this year.
But with Eskridge out, Swain has had career highs in snap counts twice already this year and through just four games isn’t far off his receiving totals of last year with nine catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
The touchdown Sunday was one of the most spectacular of the NFL season to date. But Swain said he didn’t see Wilson’s Houdini act until later.
Instead, he was focused on shaking 49ers linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair as Wilson broke free.
“I just played off of the linebacker,” Swain said. “When I looked back, I had seen (Wilson) had escaped and I had a chance. … Worked out pretty good.”
With Eskridge still seeming questionable at best to play Thursday against the Rams — he was listed as not participating in practice Tuesday — Wilson’s growing trust in Swain might play a huge role for the Seahawks again.
Chris Carson sits out with neck injury
Running back Chris Carson was among two Seahawks who sat out practice Tuesday, along with Eskridge.
Carson was listed with a neck injury, which he has not been listed with before — he was listed as sitting out Monday if the team had practiced as a resting vet.
Coach Pete Carroll did not talk to media members Tuesday so there was no further clarification on Carson’s status.
Carson played 25 snaps Sunday with 30 yards on 13 carries.
If Carson could not play, Alex Collins would undoubtedly get the start coming off a solid game against the 49ers with 44 yards on 10 carries.
Carroll said Monday that the plan was for Eskridge to return to practice this week with a hope of playing Thursday. That he didn’t practice Tuesday obviously decreases the odds of him playing.
Three players were listed as limited — receiver DK Metcalf (foot) and rush ends/linebacker Carlos Dunlap (toe) and Darrell Taylor (ankle).
Among those who were full participants were right tackle Brandon Shell, who has missed the past two games with an ankle injury; end Benson Mayowa, who has missed the past two games with a neck injury; linebacker Cody Barton, who hurt his ribs against the 49ers; and Jamal Adams, who showed up on the report Monday with an ankle injury.
Also, tight end Gerald Everett remained on the COVID-19 reserve list Tuesday.
Wilson keeps teammates guessing
Wilson has talked often of the scouting reports he prepares for offensive teammates each week, something that began with five-page missives as a rookie in 2012 and has since grown to 15 pages.
As he confirmed Tuesday, he sometimes puts tricks in the reports to make sure they are being read.
As first revealed during the television broadcast Sunday, Wilson slipped the name Sourdough Sam as number 49 on a list of San Francisco players for the game Sunday.
There was no number 49 last week, and Sam is actually the 49ers’ mascot.
Wilson said Metcalf was the first to catch it.
Wilson said it’s a trick he had pulled on him a few times by former coaches, notably Dana Bible, who was his position coach and offensive coordinator at North Carolina State.
“Keep them guessing,” Wilson said. “Making sure they are doing their process. … keeps it fun.”
Wilson already had his report for this week prepared when he talked to the media Tuesday and said it again included a fake fact.
“(Center Ethan) Pocic got it this week,” Wilson said. “Not going to tell you guys what it is yet. Maybe after the game.”