ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In his first 10 seasons in the NFL, Russell Wilson missed a total of three games. Out of a possible 161 games during his time with the Seahawks, Wilson only missed three games.

Through his first 14 games with the Broncos, however, Denver’s franchise quarterback has already missed two games due to two different injuries.

Wilson missed the Broncos’ Week 7 game against the Jets after suffering a hamstring injury against the Chargers the week before. Nearly two months later, Russell was knocked out of the Chiefs game in Week 14 after suffering a concussion when he took off for the end zone.

Wilson also suffered a shoulder injury in Week 4 against the Raiders, which he continued to play through, when he dove as he was running.

On the season, Wilson has 41 carries for 215 yards, yet multiple injuries. That poses the question: With Wilson set to return on Christmas Day against the Los Angeles Chargers, does Denver’s prized quarterback need to limit the number of times he runs to avoid injury?

“No,” Nathaniel Hackett quickly said when posed this question. “He’s full go. He’s full go. We’re full go. He’s full go. It’s about winning the football game.”

On the 3rd-and-11 run in the fourth quarter against the Chiefs, that’s exactly what Wilson was trying to do when he dove for the end zone before suffering the concussion. He was trying to win the game.

In fact, Wilson’s ability to move has been what made him one of the best quarterbacks in the past decade. During his tenure with Seattle, Wilson averaged over 460 yards on the ground each year. His ability to escape the pocket and dodge defenders helped him rack up nine Pro Bowls in his first 10 seasons.

Against the Chiefs in Week 14, Wilson ran for a season-high 57 yards on 14.25 yards per carry. In fact, that made him Denver’s leading rusher on the day. After missing Week 15 due to the concussion, Hackett wants Wilson to pick up right where he left off in the Chiefs game when he returns on Sunday.

“Continuation from that past game,” Hackett stated on Wednesday, when asked if he wants to see Wilson use his legs. “We want to see him execute, get the ball out of his hands when that’s there and then if something happens, yes we don’t want him to stay in the pocket and take a hit, we want him to use his legs and protect himself.”

Hackett doesn’t want Wilson to say goodbye to his special ability to scramble, despite that same trait leading to two missed games this year.


Zac Stevens was born and raised in Denver, went to the University of Denver and now covers the Denver Broncos. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from DU in 2014, Zac worked for the Cleveland Browns as a remote scout. He then jumped straight into the journalism industry at the beginning of 2016 covering the reigning world-champion Broncos and joined DNVR soon after. Catch him on Twitter @ZacStevensDNVR and daily on the DNVR Broncos podcast as the co-host.