Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday Bobby Wagner‘s ailing hamstring is as good as its been in weeks.
“This is a good week for Bobby,” Carroll said. “He’s continued to see the light of day here on getting better so that’s a good sign. He’s working as much as he can today but this is the best he’s felt and that’s a good sign coming out of last week.”
Wagner first showed up on the injury report following the team’s victory over the Houston Texans in late October. While it hasn’t forced him to miss a game entirely, it’s kept him from practicing for a significant portion of the second half of the season.
“I have much respect for him, man,” fellow linebacker K.J. Wright said. “It’s not easy playing in this league with an injury and not being able to practice. His whole career, we’ve always practiced all the time and to not be able to get those reps and have to switch it up and get minimal reps, is really impressive.”
The hamstring strain was exacerbated in a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars that forced him to watch the second half from the sidelines. While he played the following Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, he was a shell of his normal self. Jacksonville and Los Angeles combined to score 69 points against Seattle in the six quarters Wagner was out or significantly hampered by the injury.
Wagner played last week against the Cowboys and had eight tackles and a quarterback hit on Dak Prescott.
“He’s still not himself, but he’s out there making plays and getting tackles,” Wright said. “He’s chasing down [Ezekiel Elliott] on like a counter play last week as you saw, so he’s still able to get it done, even not being a hundred percent. Much respect to him. We don’t like missing games as linebackers and he’s doing a great job so far this year.”
Wagner has 130 tackles and two interceptions this season for Seattle and could easily be named a first-team All-Pro for the third time in four seasons. With Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril out for the year, a healthy Wagner is necessary for Seattle’s defense to hold together.