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Russell Wilson’s ankle could be the key to a 49ers upset

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The Seahawks quarterback is still recovering from a high ankle sprain, and looked fairly ordinary in Week 2. Can the 49ers continue it?

Russell Wilson suffered an ankle sprain in Week 1, and not too long after, it was described as being of the high ankle variety. That normally costs a player multiple weeks, but Wilson was back at practice last week, and played in Week 2 against the Los Angeles Rams.

Wilson is a full participant in practice this week, and head coach Pete Carroll thinks he should be improved from last week.

“Feels like he’s ahead of last week’s week preparation, and he found a way to play a good football game last week. Did a nice job. And so we’re hoping he’s going to be better this weekend.”

I was speaking with our Turf Show Times blogger about this weekend’s games, and he had an interesting comment about Wilson. He talked about how Wilson did not look himself, and just looked very normal, unexceptional quarterback, missing throws and unable to extend plays like he normally does.

It is hard to tell what we can expect from Wilson this weekend with regard to the ankle. A further week removed from the injury can be a positive, but if he is not getting the ankle the rest and rehab it needs, it could aggravate the situation or at least slow the recovery.

There is no doubt in my mind the 49ers will be looking to hit Wilson hard. That’s not some shocking revelation given that teams are usually looking to hit the quarterback. But, given that ankle, the 49ers pass rush will be particularly important this week. If the 49ers can force Wilson to scramble on that ankle, and force him into uncomfortable situations. That ankle is not 100 percent, and that is what could further slow down a Seahawks offense that is already struggling thus far.

The 49ers will still need to maintain assignment discipline, because you can’t give Wilson any openings. But they need to play aggressive and make the injury a factor in that Seahawks offense. I expect the 49ers to bring blitzes and pressure in any way they can early on to force Wilson out of his comfort zone. The Seahawks will have their counters, particularly in the run game, but given their offensive line woes, it will make for a fascinating chess match.