RENTON, Wash. — DK Metcalf declared himself “100 percent” on Thursday and said he’s ready to play in Sunday’s regular-season opener, which will be all of 19 days after he had surgery on his knee.
That quick recovery is why the Seattle Seahawks rookie receiver referred to himself as the X-Men character “Wolverine” during a recent conversation with coach Pete Carroll.
Metcalf had been getting regular playing time with the Seahawks’ No. 1 offense before he had surgery on Aug. 20, which Carroll referred to as a “minimal” procedure. Metcalf said his knee issue had been lingering and that he, Carroll and general manager John Schneider were all in agreement that surgery would be the best course of action.
Metcalf only played in Seattle’s first preseason game. Russell Wilson and most of Seattle’s veteran starters didn’t play in that game, meaning those two have had zero game reps together — not even in the team’s intrasquad scrimmage the week before the first preseason game as Metcalf was held out with an oblique injury.
Metcalf shot down the idea that all the time he missed following knee surgery was a setback, saying he made the most of being sidelined.
“I sharpened up my mental game,” he said. “I got to learn the offense a little more. Coming from that first game, I kind of got used to the speed of the game. I can’t wait to be back out there Sunday.”
Metcalf, listed as a limited on Wednesday and a full participant Thursday, deferred to Carroll when asked what kind of a snap count he might be on in Seattle’s opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Seahawks are already without one of their top receivers in David Moore, who is sidelined with a shoulder fracture. The other receivers behind Tyler Lockett and Jaron Brown are rookies Gary Jennings and John Ursua plus Malik Turner, who had two catches as an undrafted rookie last season.
Metcalf said he’s noticed a significant difference in how his knee feels post-surgery.
“I’m very excited just to come back out there and play on Sunday,” he said.
As for the “Wolverine” nickname?
“He doesn’t stay down for long,” Metcalf said. “If he gets a cut or a bruise or something, then it goes away immediately. I’ve been dealing with injuries for the past couple of months, and they’ve kind of lingered around for a little bit and then go away.”
Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah is also on track to make his Seahawks debut Sunday. Speaking with local reporters for the first time since signing a one-year deal with the Seahawks in May, Ansah said he’s “as ready as I can be” given all the time he missed while recovering from shoulder surgery and a more recent groin injury, which he called a “long journey.” He hasn’t played since December, when his shoulder injury prematurely ended his final season in Detroit.
“Truthfully, it’s a little bit of everything,” he said of his emotions heading into Week 1. “I haven’t played football in a very long time … I just can’t wait to hit somebody, I can’t wait to make a first tackle, I can’t wait to get my first sack, I just can’t wait to get out there and play with the guys in this building. We have a bunch of great guys here and, man, I don’t see myself anywhere but here and I’m really excited to be a part of this program.”
Ansah (shoulder) and Jadeveon Clowney (not injury-related) were listed as limited Thursday for the second day in a row.