Seahawks should have Wilson for game against Jets

BY foxsports • September 30, 2016

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Russell Wilson has never missed a start in his NFL career and he is fully intent on keeping that streak going.

The Seattle quarterback is dealing with a sprained left knee but vows to be on the field when the Seahawks visit the New York Jets on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, FOX).

Wilson suffered damage to the medial collateral ligament while being tackled by San Francisco linebacker Eli Harold in last Sunday's victory over the 49ers. He began rehabbing the knee almost immediately and was a full participant in Wednesday's practice.

Wilson has started 77 consecutive games (67 regular season, 10 postseason) since entering the NFL and Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Wilson is "pretty determined" to play against the Jets.

"He's upbeat and feeling good and he's worked really, really hard to do everything to be right and he's going to go," Carroll said.

The knee injury is the second ailment to bother Wilson this season. He suffered a high ankle sprain in the season opener against the Miami Dolphins and played the following Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams.

The latest injury was much more of a concern as Wilson's left leg was in an awkward position under Harold's body as the tackle was completed.

"I was fortunate," Wilson said. "I don't think it was as severe as it looked, thank God. I think I'll be all right."

While Seattle (2-1) is concerned about Wilson's health, the Jets (1-2) are concerned about the psyche of their starting quarterback.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is coming off the worst performance of his career. He threw a career-worst six interceptions and also lost two fumbles in last Sunday's 24-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

"We lost that game because of my performance," Fitzpatrick said. "We don't really need to pin it or try to put it on anything else. I think that was pretty evident."

The debacle leaves the Jets in a tough position as the home game against the Seahawks is followed by back-to-back road tests against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals.

New York is already two games behind the first-place New England Patriots in the AFC East, but receiver Brandon Marshall doesn't see any signs of panic.

"It sucks losing, but it feels good to see the reaction -- that coaches and players are angry and you're looking at each other and you're holding each other accountable," Marshall said. "Like, 'what's the problem?' We need to fix it. That's what I love about this locker room."

Marshall won't have sidekick Eric Decker on the field with him Sunday after an MRI exam revealed that Decker has a partially torn rotator cuff. New York coach Todd Bowles termed Decker's status as "week-to-week."

The loss of Decker, Fitzpatrick's turnover issues and a Seattle pass defense (ranked second at 162.7 yards per game) led by cornerback Richard Sherman could mean even more work for running back Matt Forte.

The 30-year-old Forte ranks sixth in the NFL with 261 rushing yards. The veteran who signed with the Jets in the offseason has handled the ball 76 times (67 rushes, nine receptions) through three games.

The Seahawks are allowing a league-low 250.3 yards per game as they continue to use a formula that has seen the club go 48-19 in the regular season since Wilson became quarterback.

Marshawn Lynch is in retirement and starting running back Thomas Rawls suffered a fibula injury, but third-year back Christine Michael has a 5.2 average and is displaying signs that he's ready for the starting role. Michael had a career-best 106 yards and scored two touchdowns against San Francisco.

"We always knew that he had it in him," Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin said. "Sometimes you just have to evolve with the offense and evolve with yourself as you get older."

Baldwin is off to a strong start with 20 receptions for 276 yards and two touchdowns. He had a touchdown catch among eight receptions for a career-best 164 yards against the 49ers.

The Jets are allowing 355.7 yards per game and receiving strong play from emerging second-year defensive tackle Leonard Williams, who has three sacks.

This is only the second meeting in the past 12 seasons between the clubs and the first in New Jersey since 2004. Seattle holds a 10-8 series edge.

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