It absolutely sucks that Russell Wilson was injured on a freakish play against the Los Angeles Rams a week and a half ago. It sucks that he’s on Injured Reserve and isn’t eligible to come off IR until after the Seahawks’ Week 9 bye.
However, his injury and subsequent unavailability has given me a deeper appreciation of him. Or, more specifically, of his single-minded focus, his ultra-competitive nature, and the fact that he clearly bleeds blue and green.
It started with reports last week that he was throwing the ball left-handed at practice.
I chuckled when I saw the headline.
I “might” have allowed myself to spend a few minutes daydreaming of a world where RW3 took the field against the Steelers and promptly set social media on fire when he uncorked a left-handed bomb to Tyler Lockett.
Then the team put him on IR and the fantasies ended.
But not for Russell Wilson.
Two hours before Sunday night’s game against Pittsburgh, Russell Wilson was on the field running the two-minute drill. Alone. Minus a football.
They showed it during the telecast and said that they had never seen any other IR’d quarterback do that. Gregg Bell wrote about it for The News Tribune, saying, in part:
He ran a simulated, hurry-up, 2-minute drill. He made play calls on the fly. He dropped back to pass. He rolled out — everything but the throws. All by himself.
During the game, he was clearly engaged - sitting with Geno, talking to Pete, standing by Shane, greeting guys when they came off the field, et cetera.
More than once the cameras caught him looking at the play sheet on his wrist.
Watching Russ come out for the coin toss at the start of overtime caught a lot of people’s attention - and rightly so.
Mookie mentioned it in Winners and Losers.
Joe Fann Tweeted about it.
Honest question, is Russ technically allowed to be out there for the coin toss given he’s not on the active roster?— Joe Fann (@Joe_Fann) October 18, 2021
Someone named Rick Huizinga provided an answer:
From the NFL rule book (4-2-2): “the Referee, in the presence of both team’s captains (limit of six per team, active, inactive or honorary) shall toss a coin at the center of the field”.
So, yep, it was apparently “legal.” It also appears to be somewhat unprecedented.
Before Seattle got to overtime though ...
In real-time, I had a mini-heart-attack and said, “WTF just happened?” and “What the heck is going on?” at least a dozen times each.
Then I watched the replay a few times (while the play was under review).
Look at the top left corner. That’s Russell Wilson.
Now watch the NFL’s clip again and take note of who it is that runs onto the field to tell Freddie Swain to get his ass off the turf because the clock is running.
Here’s what I tweeted a few hours after the game:
This 4-second sequence is just ONE of the reasons the 12s love Russell Wilson. pic.twitter.com/scxCfvnJHe— Frank T. Raines (@Frank_T_Raines) October 18, 2021
(Click into the image in the Tweet for the full sequence.)
It may be a bit hyperbolic, but without Russell Wilson’s involvement in that critical 4-second sequence, the Seahawks might not have gotten a chance to send the game to overtime.
As a reminder, RW3 was straddling the 44-yard line when the play started.
Swain recovered D.K.’s fumble on the 25.
That’s Russell Wilson for you.
I’ll end this article with one other thing that was mentioned either during the game or (more likely) during the local pregame show:
Evidently the doctors told Russ that he could expect to be able to bend the knuckle on his injured finger about 10 degrees a week after the surgery.
Wilson is already at 75 degrees.