Wagner wants to play in Seahawks finale despite knee injury
By TIM BOOTH
RENTON, Wash. (AP) Bobby Wagner was on the field for one defensive play last week for Seattle before slipping awkwardly, doing the splits and suffering a sprained knee while trying to defend a screen pass.
Despite the injury, Wagner said Wednesday he is going to make every effort to play in the Seahawks' regular season finale Sunday at Arizona, however meaningless the game is for Seattle.
"I'm just gonna do what I do," Wagner said. "I'm going to get as much treatment as I possibly can. I'm going take it one day at a time. I have a lot of days before Sunday and we're going to see what happens."
Wagner has every reason to take this Sunday off and it may be determined later that sitting out is the better move. He's already posted one of his best statistical seasons with a career-high 170 tackles, although Wagner would trade fewer tackles for more wins by the Seahawks.
No matter what happens in Arizona, the Seahawks will finish with their worst winning percentage of Pete Carroll's 12 seasons in charge.
"I think it's just always important to try your best to finish what you start," Wagner said. "So regardless of how the things play out, you never want your circumstances or what's going on around you to dictate whether or not you're going to play or how hard you're going to play."
Wagner was hurt trying to track down Detroit's Jamaal Williams on the Lions' first snap of the game. Wagner said he went to plant his left foot and slipped and suddenly found himself in an awkward position.
Wagner initially tried to reenter the game following the injury timeout. When he was sent to the sideline for the one play he was required to miss, reality seemed to hit that going back on the field immediately wasn't the right move.
Wagner eventually went back to the locker room where he underwent X-rays and watched the rest of the game in one of the offices.
"If anything, it just made me hungrier," Wagner said. "It made me want to get back to work. If I'm not able to go (this week), it made me want to get healthy, work out and do everything I can to come back, stronger, faster, smarter next year and continue playing at a high level."
Next year remains a hot topic regarding Wagner because it will be the final year of his current contract with a hefty salary cap hit of $20 million. The Seahawks could afford that, but they could also save more than $16 million in cap space by cutting Wagner.
Wagner said he doesn't view this week as his last game with the Seahawks and fully expects he'll need to switch into businessman mode during the offseason. Wagner negotiated his current contract without the use of an agent.
"There's a business side to this, but there's a lot of optimism on my end that I'll be back. So I'm not worried about it," Wagner said. "Obviously I can't control everything. I can only control my part. And my part on this is I love this city. I love this team. I love the Seahawks. I always want to be a part of the franchise's good times and bad times and every time. This is a team that I would love to be able to be a part of for a very, very long time."
NOTES: The Seahawks placed starting defensive tackle Al Woods and practice squad defensive tackle Myles Adams on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday. Woods has started every game and has a career-high 50 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.
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Updated January 5, 2022