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Russell Wilson returns to face Seattle Seahawks for first time since joining Denver Broncos

Russell Wilson returns to face the Seattle Seahawks for the first time since his blockbuster offseason trade to the Denver Broncos; watch Broncos @ Seahawks, live on Sky Sports NFL, 1.15am, Tuesday

Last Updated: 12/09/22 2:51pm


Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson makes his return to Seattle on Monday

As the NFL schedule-makers would have it, Russell Wilson begins his Denver Broncos career back at a place he would consider home when he returns to face the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on Monday night. 

Wilson parted ways with the franchise after 10 seasons in March as he was traded to Mile High in exchange for quarterback Drew Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, tight end Noah Fant, two first-round picks, two second-rounders and a fifth-rounder.

While his arrival immediately thrust Denver into Super Bowl contention, it underlined a transition phase for Seattle and the beginning of their search for the team’s next long-term servant under center.

Wilson won at least 10 games in eight of his 10 seasons with Seattle, led the team to the playoffs on eight occasions, won one Super Bowl, lost another, was a nine-time Pro Bowler and missed just two games during his time there. He defied questions over his size coming out of college with heroic freelancing as a threat on the ground and one of the league’s most effective deep-balls as the adored poster boy to Pete Carroll’s Seattle success.

Nevertheless, Carroll admitted he will leave it up to Seahawks fans to decide what kind of reception they choose to give Wilson upon his return.

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Highlights from the NFL Preseason Week 2 game between the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills

“You are either competing, or you are not, I’m leaving it up to the 12s,” Carroll told reporters. “It’s game time and we are going for it, so however they take it, I will follow their lead on that. I’m not going to be involved in that opportunity to react, so I don’t have to make that decision. We will see what happens. I’ll leave it up to the 12s, I think they will know exactly what to do.”

Wilson confirmed during the week the Seahawks had tried to ship him prior to his offseason departure, following on from an ESPN report stating the organisation had attempted to trade him to the Browns in 2018 for the No 1 pick used to Draft Baker Mayfield.

Tyler Lockett had been of Wilson’s most trusted and consistent pass-catching allies in Seattle, and while he now hopes to offer a similar service Geno Smith or Lock, believes his former quarterback is worthy of a warm welcome back.

“You never want to see people leave, but you’ve got to understand that everybody has to do what’s best for them, and that’s what you have to be able to understand about this life is you have to cheer people on,” he told reporters. “You can’t get mad that people go to another team and this, this and this. We’re fans, right? So we learn it the hard way.

Highlights from the NFL Preseason Week 3 game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys

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Highlights from the NFL Preseason Week 3 game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys

Highlights from the NFL Preseason Week 3 game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys

“But at the end of the day, you’ve got to be able to separate the man from the player and you’ve got to understand that everybody’s trying to do what’s best for them and all you can do is hope that they win and cheer for them to win. So that’s really how I feel about it. I think that Seattle should cheer him on for everything that he’s done – help bring a Super Bowl to this community, all that different type of stuff. He’s an amazing guy.”

The arrival of Wilson, who signed a five-year $245m extension with the Broncos earlier this month, has coincided with that of first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett and the Aaron Rodgers-approved offense, or at least a chapter of its wrinkles, from his post as Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator.

Hackett is braced for what beckons as an emotional, potential fiery reunion.

“In the end, for us, it’s about just going out to win a football game,” said Hackett. “We know it’s going to be a hostile environment, no matter who the quarterback is out there. I think that just the entire organisation, I know that they appreciate him, and they know all the games that he’s won and all the things that he’s done for that community and everybody.

“We are proud to have him here in Denver. We’re going to rally around him and, either way, it’s a hostile place, so we’re excited for it.”

Wilson brushed aside suggestions of any sour feelings when discussing Seattle’s previous efforts to move him on, though joined his head coach in readying himself for a difficult night.

“I know they’ll be rowdy,” said Wilson. “I know they’ll be excited. I know it’s Monday Night Football. So, it’ll be a special environment,” Wilson said Thursday. “Listen, I think that I gave my heart and soul every day, and I know nothing less. So, hopefully it’ll be positive. But at the end of the day we’ve got a game to play.”

Watch the Denver Broncos at the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football, live on Sky Sports NFL from 1.15am, Tuesday.



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