WR Tyler Lockett was QB Russell Wilson’s best target Sunday in a 9-3 loss to the Rams, despite the fact that Lockett hurt his left knee in the second quarter and did not return until well after halftime. At practice Wednesday, Lockett said it would take more than a bum leg to stop him.
“You have to put me in a coffin in order for me not to play,” Lockett said.
Thankfully for him, his knee injury against the Rams was not life-threatening.
Lockett said the pain started after a pass in the second quarter, when his defender, rookie DB Troy Hill, forced an incompletion, but drew a pass interference flag. After jumping, Lockett landed awkwardly on his foot, transferring the shock to his knee.
“My knee started to hurt, and they wouldn’t let me go back in the game,” Lockett said. “I had strength, but it hurt when I would cut, so I had to go get an X-ray.
“They told me that it was alright. I wanted to go back out there and play. They knew I wouldn’t do anything stupid, so, they let me go.”
The second-year player said convincing the training staff to let him return was a matter of some give-and-take, as well as allowing himself to believe that he would be OK to play so they would believe, too.
Lockett’s return nearly turned around a game Seattle trailed throughout.
Starting the final possession on the Seattle 12 with 1:53 left, Wilson went for the bomb on the first play and hit Lockett 53 yards downfield — the game’s longest play and his first reception after his injury return.
The drive ended two plays later on a fumble by RB Christine Michael after a short catch-and-run. But the strike between two hobbled players was a promising sign in a game where WR Doug Baldwin also went down temporarily.
Dealing with the pain, Lockett said, was nothing new.
“(In high school) I played basketball with a broken wrist, a messed-up shoulder, a hurt toe I couldn’t walk on,” he said. “I played in college with a lacerated kidney and finished the game. I played the whole Iowa State game when my hamstring popped twice, and I still played the next week versus Auburn. It’s going to take death to stop me going out there.
“I learned how to play through pain my whole life. Pain isn’t anything that forces me to find anything different.”
Lockett’s bionic-man routine nearly paid off Sunday. He caught everything thrown his way: 4-of-4 for 99 yards. Whether it affects him this week against the San Francisco 49ers (1 p.m., Q13 FOX) depends on how quickly the cybernetic self-healing occurs.
Or, more likely, how practice goes.
Lockett said the only thing that could keep him out Sunday is if his knee was unable to handle the weight of full-speed cuts. Both he and coach Pete Carroll sounded confident in his chances to be a target for Wilson in week three.
“Pain doesn’t define me, or tell me that I can’t go back out there,” Lockett said. “The only thing that will tell me I can’t go back out there is when you no longer see me on this earth.”
Perhaps Lockett’s enthusiasm will get him in the end zone, rather than in the ground. If Baldwin is also good to go, as Carroll suggested is likely Wednesday, life might stir in a Seahawks offense that looked ready to be loaded into a hearse Sunday.