Seahawks: Should Russ start or sit after knee injury?
By Andy Larkin
It’s no secret that Russell Wilson has already taken a beating this year just three games into the season. So the question becomes, should he start or sit after suffering a sprained MCL?
Russell Wilson has shown incredible toughness and durability throughout his four year NFL career. Wilson has never missed a game or even a practice since arriving in Seattle in 2012. But in just three games this season the tough minded QB has sustained two significant leg injuries.
A high ankle sprain in week one hampered Wilson in the 4th quarter of that game, but he was still able to help the team gut out a win over Miami. The effects of that ankle injury lingered as Wilson and the Seahawk offense was swallowed up by the Rams D in week two.
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Last Sunday, just as Russell looked to be getting healthy and had the team steamrolling the 49ers, the injury bug reared its ugly head again. An MCL sprain was the culprit this time. Though he has said he will be fine, the injuries are starting to pile up. With that in mind the question now becomes should the team start or sit Wilson this week?
I’m torn on the correct answer. Lame I know, but it honestly depends. There are a few factors to consider in this situation.
The first being, is he healthy enough to play? The team doctors will ultimately let Russell and the staff know their opinion. If they give anything that resembles a green light, I’m certain Russ will play given his invincible mentality. But if he’s not healthy enough to perform at a competent level and keep himself out of harms way, then he has no business being out there. There’s no reason put the entire season and Russell’s career on the line for a week four matchup with the Jets.
Speaking of the Jets, they join the list of teams Seattle will play that have a very solid defensive front. You can count on Todd Bowles dialing up the pressure on his old division foes. There isn’t much that terrifies me more than a gimpy Wilson getting pummeled by Gang Green for 60 minutes.
Again, I’m conflicted on this. Because another basic factor in the “start or sit” conundrum is the fact that 3-1 is a world apart from 2-2. Simply put, the Hawks need this game. This is a great opportunity to separate themselves from the rest of the West early.
Yes, I know the Rams are technically leading the division right now, but we all know that won’t last because they only get to play Seattle one more time. Jokes aside, the Seahawks know that 3-1 heading into the bye could give them huge momentum the rest of the way. Starting strong is extremely important for a team that is looking to capture home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The possibility of extra rest is also something to consider in this situation. With the Seahawks getting a bye week following the Jets game, Wilson could potentially get a bonus week of recovery. In a perfect world, I’d love to see the team go this route and know that they would get a much healthier Wilson by the time Atlanta comes to town in week six.
Unfortunately it’s not a perfect world and wins come at a premium in the NFL. This is why it’s difficult for me to pick a side here.
For the sake of this exercise I’ll draw my line in the sand. I believe it would be in the best interest of the team to sit Russell this week. Even if they lose and fall to 2-2 it’s better than jeopardizing the whole season. Let Wilson get healthy first and foremost. The Seahawks will still have twelve games (including five in the division) to make a strong push. Who knows? Maybe they could even find a way to win ugly against the Jets and still get to 3-1. That would be the best case scenario.
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Of course this is all just my opinion. Quite honestly it doesn’t matter much what I think. The word from the VMAC this week seems to be that Russell is going to play. Apparently waking up in the middle of the night for treatment with your own personal Physical Therapist does wonders.
I guess we will know how healthy Wilson is come Sunday. If I had it my way, I’d let him rest up and get ready to make a run at another championship.