RENTON, Wash. — As of Monday afternoon, Pete Carroll’s expectation was that Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson will be the starter on Sunday when the Seahawks face the New York Jets despite a sprained MCL in his left knee.
Of course, that’s subject to change.
“What he has, a lot of guys play with,” Carroll said on Monday afternoon. “This is something that our trainers have been through a number of times and know this is really possible that he’ll be fine.
“But he still has to respond to the work on Wednesday and Thursday and see how he gets through it, and we’ll be watching very closely to make sure we do the right thing to ensure his health and his well-being moving forward and the team’s well-being moving forward. We’ll take all that into account.”
For the second time in three weeks, Wilson’s health was the primary topic the day after a Seahawks victory.
This time it was a 37-18 rout of San Francisco marred by a knee injury Wilson suffered in the third quarter when he was pulled down awkwardly by Eli Harold on a sack.
Wilson stayed down on the field for a few moments after the injury before walking off and missed the first play of his career because of an injury.
He returned almost immediately — and without perhaps the approval of his coaches — to throw one more pass and was pulled on Seattle’s next series in favor of backup Trevone Boykin.
An MRI on Sunday night confirmed the diagnosis of a knee sprain, and Carroll declined to specify the severity. It’s the second leg injury suffered by Wilson in three weeks after spraining his right ankle in the opener against Miami.
Carroll repeatedly said all indications are that Wilson will be able to play against the Jets, but his status likely won’t be determined until the team sees how he recovers from Wednesday’s practice.
“Wednesday’s a big day to see where he is,” Carroll said. “He looks fine. He looks fine. So I’m not that deeply concerned about it. I wish it didn’t happen, I wish he didn’t get banged (up). But I think he’s going to be all right.”
There’s also the matter of risk involved with Wilson’s injury being that Seattle has its bye after Sunday’s game against New York.
The potential of getting Wilson two full weeks of rest to recover from all of his injuries could outweigh the upside of having him play against the Jets and face one of the better defensive fronts in the NFL at less than 100 percent.
“He’s going to try and push it as far as he can to do everything he can at all times. That’s just how he is,” Carroll said.
While there was optimism about Wilson’s ability to play this week, the news wasn’t as good for running back Thomas Rawls, who was diagnosed with a slightly cracked fibula in his left leg on Monday.
Rawls was inactive for Sunday’s game and sat out all of last week’s practice because of the injury. Seattle initially thought Rawls had injured the muscle on the outside of his left shin against Los Angeles, but the injury was more severe.
Carroll said the diagnosis explains the amount of discomfort Rawls was having and he didn’t expect at this time the running back would have to be placed on injured reserve.
“He’s not going to be incapacitated by it at all. He’ll be able to move around,” Carroll said “We just have to be careful and get him through a few more weeks before we can get him back out.”
NOTES: Seattle is optimistic that rookie guard Germain Ifedi (ankle) will be able to play this week. Ifedi was injured the week of the opener. Carroll said Ifedi would be the starter at right guard if he can return this week. … Rookie TE Nick Vannett (ankle) is on track to make his season debut this week. Vannett was hurt in Seattle’s second preseason game.