We Need To Talk About Russell Wilson’s Durability
Sunday, December 23, 2018
NICHOLAS BARTLETT, Oregon Sports News
Russell Wilson has been the Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback for seven years now. Ever since he took over as QB, the Hawks have been a perennial playoff contender.
Wilson is poised, confident, and unorthodox all is one. He is truly a unique player. On one play he can spin out of three tackles and fire a 50-yard strike down the field; on the next play, he can spin into a sack and fumble the ball into the opposition’s hands.
You never know exactly what you are going to get when he is in the game. But you do know that he will compete until the very last second and that he will emit positive energy throughout the locker room.
If you watch the NFL, you know exactly what this man is capable of.
One aspect of his game that is often overlooked is his durability on the field. Ever since becoming the leader of Seattle, he has yet to miss one game at starting quarterback.
Yeah, you heard that right: The man has not missed one NFL game.
This stat is amazing no matter what, but accounting for his size and his style of play, this is absolutely ridiculous.
Even though he is a very smart runner, this is still the NFL and anything can happen on any given Sunday. Or, you know, Thursday, Saturday, or Monday because the NFL is becoming increasingly weird.
There is always the risk of a serious injury via a big hit. Furthermore, there are also many non-contact injuries that can potentially sideline a player for the rest of their season—or career.
All it takes is one unfortunate step. Just ask Teddy Bridgewater about non-contact injuries. The young Minnesota Vikings QB suffered a torn ACL and a dislocated knee during a team practice in 2016 effectively ending his season. The injury was so severe that he was actually at-risk for losing his entire leg.
According Gerry Dulac in 2016, “The most recent NFL medical study said that 26% of all ACL tears are non-contact related.”
Luckily for Hawks fans, Wilson has been extremely healthy throughout most of his career with the exception of the 2016-17 season. That year, he suffered a grade three ankle sprain and a grade two MCL sprain to his knee.
To be honest, I don’t actually remember what caused his ankle injury in 2016, but I do remember the hit that caused his MCL sprain.
The Seahawks were playing against the San Francisco 49ers in a divisional matchup. Seattle was in a shotgun formation before the play started. The ball was snapped and he began to roll out to his right; he was trying to outrun linebacker Eli Harold but was caught from behind.
Wilson’s left leg was pinned under Harold’s weight and bent back in a gruesome position.
To the naked eye, the hit looked catastrophic. I’m not exactly sure how Wilson wasn’t severely injured on this play, but I’m grateful that he wasn’t. It may be luck, it may be skill, it may be the way he takes care of his body. Whatever it was, it was truly remarkable he wasn’t phased by this hit. He only missed a couple of plays after this incident and somehow came back into the game.
What makes this even more impressive is that he has been playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in football and he still finds a way to stay healthy.
With the exception of this season, he has constantly been under fire by defensive lineman and linebackers alike. In past seasons, it felt like he was literally getting hit on every play.
The Hawks offensive line was ranked 27th out of 32 teams last year, according to profootballfocus.com and this is including Duane Brown on the roster. Before the trade for Brown, Seattle’s o-line was a lot worse.
In the 2016-17 season, the Seahawks had the worst offensive line in the league, according to profootballfocus.com. Wilson has started in over 100 straight regular season games and exactly 12 playoff games. He has played in 122 consecutive games total.
He has a long way to go to catch Brett Favre’s streak of playing in 321 combined football games, but Wilson’s streak is still impressive nonetheless.
Russell Wilson is Seattle’s Warrior, Seattle’s ironman, and the quarterback of Seattle’s only Super Bowl winning team. Thanks, Russell, for being one hell of a football player and an even better man off the field.