RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner expressed regret Wednesday for taking to social media to vent his frustrations about comments made by teammate Earl Thomas after Seattle’s blowout loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Whether all is settled between Seattle’s star linebacker and its standout free safety is left to interpretation.
“Do I feel like I mishandled the situation? Yeah, there was a better way of going about the situation. I could have (done) better. It’s one of those things where you live and you learn and that’s kind of what it is,” Wagner said. “It’s just one of those things, it was a frustrating game, it was a frustrating situation, the game didn’t go as well as we planned and emotions get high and things of that nature. … I’m man enough to admit I handled the situation wrong.”
Wagner played in the 42-7 loss Sunday despite being limited by a hamstring injury that’s been bothering him for nearly two months. Wagner was clearly not at his normal level and Thomas questioned after the game whether Wagner should have been playing in the first place.
“To be totally honest, I think the guys that played, you’ve got to give your hats off to (Wagner) and a couple guys that played,” Thomas said after the loss. “But my personal opinion, I don’t think they should have played. The backups would have did just as good.”
Wagner sent two tweets that were later deleted. In one, he told Thomas to keep his name out of his mouth and to “stop being jealous” of other people’s success.
Both Wagner and coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday that the issue was settled and had been worked out between the pair at the beginning of the week. But Thomas indicated there hadn’t been a conversation to quell any lingering problems.
“There was no conversation. It is what it is. Let’s move on. If that’s how you feel, that’s how you feel,” Thomas said.
Seattle has been playing short-handed on defence for most of the final two months with Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor out for the season due to injuries. Linebacker K.J. Wright was out due to a concussion last week and Wagner was at less than 100 per cent.
The frustration reached its peak Sunday as Seattle lost its second straight game and put its playoff hopes in severe jeopardy. Wagner didn’t play well. Thomas didn’t play well. No one played well in the most lopsided defeat of Carroll’s tenure.
Thomas didn’t want to use the injuries as an excuse for the poor play.
“It’s not hard to do. Guys got to make up in their mind that we want to win,” Thomas said. “We don’t want to go out there just for stats. We want to win.”
Wagner went through an extensive pregame warmup while Carroll and members of the athletic training staff watched. He said the hamstring felt the same as it had in previous weeks since first begin injured on Oct. 29 against Houston.
But he was notably moving slower against the Rams. He said unlike previous game when the pain in his hamstring would dissipate, it never went away against the Rams.
“It felt like it did all the other weeks. Last week it didn’t work out the way it had in the previous weeks,” Wagner said. “Again, we live and we learn. I learned a lot about my body. I learned a lot about my mind. Would I do the same thing over? I would, because I’m a fighter, I love this team, I love this game, I want to be out there. I want to be out there to help and I felt like I could.”
Wagner was eventually pulled in the third quarter after Los Angeles took a 40-0 lead. He was also pulled in the third quarter the previous week in the loss to Jacksonville.
“I just didn’t feel like I had that burst to kind of make some of the plays I was used to making,” Wagner said.
NOTES: Wright has cleared the concussion protocol and returned to practice Wednesday. … Seattle has to make a decision on CB DeShawn Shead by the end of the week. Shead started the year on the physically unable to perform list and it’s his final week of practice before he either needs to be added to the active roster or declared out for the season. Seattle does have one open roster spot.
For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Tim Booth, The Associated Press