Russell Wilson’s performance on Sunday neared perfection. On the road, against a tough Jets defence, the Seahawks quarterback completed 72% of his passes (23-for-32) for 309 yards and three touchdowns.
That Wilson even played against the Jets was itself impressive. That he played, and posted a quarterback rating of 133.5, was — what’s a good word for it? Ridiculous? Flabbergasting?
Last week, Wilson sprained his MCL against the Niners on a big hit from lineman Eli Harold. Harold’s weight collapsed on Wilson’s leg, and as Wilson hobbled off the field and into the locker room, it certainly did not seem like a certainty that he would play against the Jets in Week 4.
But with the help of a rehab specialist named Drew Morcos, who immediately moved into Wilson’s house following his MCL sprain, Wilson was able to work on his recovery around the clock and be good to go in time for the Jets.
Here’s how Wilson described it to Peter King in King’s Monday column for the MMQB:
“Drew’s a movement specialist,” Wilson said, “so I was pretty much keeping it moving all week. I’m on a bike, or I’m doing one-legged squats. I’d go to bed maybe at 1, then wake up super early to do more icing around 3 or 4.”
“Felt great,” he said. “Now I’ve got 14 days ’til the next game. I’ll be fine.”
As Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer revealed last week, this was actually the second time that Morcos was called upon by Wilson for some full-service treatment.
“This wasn’t Morcos’ first impromptu trip of the season. Wilson suffered a high ankle sprain in the opener, and that led also led to a late Sunday flight up the West Coast. When Wilson goes down, the people around him know what Wilson’s directive will be — “I’m going to play on Sunday, period,” — and it’s their job to get him ready to go. So after the Seahawks’ season-opening win over the Dolphins, Morcos basically moved in with Wilson for the week, doing round-the-clock work with him to make sure he’d be good to go in Los Angeles the following Sunday.”
As Breer explained, Morcos’ live-in presence is, in many ways, why Wilson was able to recover so quickly. The work they are doing at all hours of the day helps keep him loose and flexible. That, in turn, saved Wilson against the Niners. For a less agile quarterback, that very same injury might have resulted in an ACL tear and an abbreviated season.
“The preventive work they have done has made it so Wilson can rotate his pelvis and trunk over his left hip joint, which makes it so the knee doesn’t take the brunt of hits like the Harold shot. If he didn’t have that hip mobility, Morcos says, “that’s where people blow their knee out. Any of it could’ve happened — ACL, meniscus, fully torn MCL. That’s where the really bad stuff happens.” By the time Morcos was in Seattle late Sunday, they knew it was just an MCL sprain, and he was doing all he could to make sure Wilson wouldn’t stiffen up, which is why it was so important for him to make the trip up as quickly as he could.”
Wilson is not the only NFL quarterback in the past few seasons who has basically enlisted a full-time, live-in physical therapist to keep him in tip top condition. Tom Brady has Alex Guerrero — his “body guru” — to help him stay loose, to name one.
Still, it’s an amazing commitment to ask a trainer to move into your house so that you can recover from a knee sprain as quickly as possible.
The Seahawks enter their bye week at 3-1. Wilson should have plenty of time to rest … and to get woken up in the middle of the night to stretch.
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