Focus on: Bobby Wagner

Posted Oct 26, 2013

How is it possible that Bobby Wagner is ready to return to the Seahawks’ lineup just three weeks after getting a high-ankle sprain? The team’s middle linebacker credits the Ninja Turtles.

Unless something unexpected happens between now and Monday night, Bobby Wagner will play in the Seahawks’ nationally televised game against the Rams in St. Louis.

And that means something unexpected already has happened, because the team’s middle linebacker was expected to be sidelined another two or three weeks because of the high-ankle sprain he got in the Week 5 loss to the Colts in Indianapolis.

“Bobby is maybe two or three weeks ahead of what you would think would happen,” coach Pete Carroll said after Saturday’s practice. “I don’t know how he did it, and the trainers don’t either. But they did a great job getting him back.”

OK, Bobby. What did happen?

“Probably a mixture between God and my cousins, the Ninja Turtles,” Wagner said through a smile as he was sitting in his cubicle in the locker room at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

Remember, Wagner is the one who walks around wearing a Ninja Turtle backpack.

Whatever it is, it’s working. Wagner was able to do more in each practice this week and during Saturday’s practice looked like the player who had a team-high 34 tackles in five games before being sidelined.

“It felt pretty good,” Wagner said. “It was a little sore. But I feel like I’m moving real well. I feel like I can plant off it; that I can engage pretty well. So I feel like I wouldn’t hurt the team.”

Wagner was leading the team in tackles before missing the past two games, when K.J. Wright played well while sliding into the middle from his spot on the weak side and Malcolm Smith played even better in replacing Wright.

Smith had a team-high eight tackles in the win over the Cardinals in Arizona last week, when Wright was second with seven. In his first start in the middle, Wright had a team-high seven tackles.

“K.J. did a great job,” Wagner said. “He and Malcolm did a great job. K.J. knows all the positions, so he’s pretty well (prepared) at going back and forth. And Malcolm did a great job when he stepped in. We’ve just got that much depth at linebacker.” 

Wagner saw it all, but watching his team play without him hurt more than his ankle.

“It was real tough to stand and watch,” he said. “If I wasn’t going to play I didn’t know if I was going to be on the sideline because it’s hard to sit on the sideline and watch.”

It appears the watching and waiting is over, well ahead of schedule and thanks apparently to the Ninja Turtles.