LONDON — As the Broncos prepare for a matchup at Wembley Stadium with the Jacksonville Jaguars, they could be poised to see their franchise quarterback return to action.
"I feel great," Russell Wilson said Wednesday after practice at Harrow School in London. "Ready to roll. Super locked in and ready to hopefully get a big win in London."
Wilson was officially a limited participant on Wednesday, and Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett said the Broncos were continuing to be smart with Wilson as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
Still, Wilson suggested he would be ready to make his return after missing Denver's Week 7 loss.
"I'll be ready to rock," Wilson said.
Wilson said he spent approximately four hours of the team's flight to London getting treatment on his injured hamstring.
"I was doing treatment on the plane," Wilson said. "I was walking up and down the aisles. Everybody was knocked out, I was doing high knees and working on my legs and everything else, making sure I'm ready to rock. So that was good."
As he approaches a potential return, Wilson said he knows the critical nature of the matchup with Jacksonville.
"Obviously this would be a key game for us," Wilson said. "This is a really good football team we're playing. I think both of our records don't necessarily represent who we are. I think there's going to be a lot of great football. It would be cool to play back in London again. I remember the last time I got to play here. It was pretty special. The environment was amazing. It's world-class. I'm excited to get rolling. We had a good practice today. Guys have been focused. We had a great team dinner last night. Guys were really bonding and connecting, so we're ready to rock."
Against the Jets, Wilson missed just the fourth game of his 11-year NFL career, and he said it was difficult to watch from the sidelines.
"I was ready to roll," Wilson said. "I've played with a lot over my career. Obviously played 150-plus games in a row til this dang finger [injury] I had. I think that any time you're not out there, I take it serious. I always want to be on the field. I think that obviously it was tough not being out there. I want to help us win and get on a hot streak and just get us rolling. We have this team that can do that. I think that how the guys played, how Brett [Rypien] played — he played his butt off. Unfortunately it didn't work out the way we wanted it to, but everybody just battled. And like I said, we've got to focus on this week."
Wilson also noted the Broncos' 2-5 record does not impact how he'll approach his status for the game.
"It doesn't matter what the record is," Wilson said. "I always want to play. I always want to be out there with my teammates."
And in the Broncos' last game before their Week 9 bye, Wilson hopes to find a way to get a win. That, he said Wednesday, would help quiet the noise that swirls around the team.
"You're aware just because of the way the world works, but I think that more than anything else, I've been trying to just stay focused on our team and focused on us getting better as a collective group and not worry about the outside noise," Wilson said of the criticism of Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett. "Because the thing is, we can control the outside noise by how we play. That's for everybody. That's starting with me, that's starting with everybody across the team, our coaches, everybody. We're all in this thing together, and we know that and we're excited about that. Because we feel like that's something that we can control. As hard as it's been — it hasn't been exactly what we wanted [it] to be — storms don't always last. This one's not going to last, because we're going to work our tails off and work through it and try to be the best we can possibly be. I think Coach Hackett's a tremendous coach. He's worked his butt off. Same with the rest of the coaching staff. Us players are working our butts off, it just hasn't come to fruition yet, how we've wanted [it] to as a collective group. Like I said, it starts with one day at a time. You can't build everything in one day. You've got to make it happen today and make one moment at a time."
TUNING OUT THE RUMORS
As the NFL's Nov. 2 trade deadline approaches, both Wilson and safety Justin Simmons have heard some of their teammates' names circulate on social media.
"I think that I heard that there was some stuff about [Bradley] Chubb and [Jerry] Jeudy and these guys," Wilson said. "I told them, 'Listen, the greater you are, the more people are going to want you and the more that people are going to keep trying to throw your names out there and see what hits and what doesn't hit.'
"I think the reality is Chubb's having his best season. He's been amazing for us. He's been a captain, he's been a leader. He's a guy that I love to play with, and obviously we hope that he's with us for a long time, because he's special, man. I love playing with this guy. His competitive nature, it's pretty spectacular. Same thing with Jerry. This guy's getting better and better every day. The bond that we have — I mentioned to them one-on-one that don't take offense to it. Just know that it's something people are always going to look for if you're a talented player. That's the game. If anybody knows that, I've experienced that personally."
Simmons, who has spent five seasons as Chubb's teammate, echoed Wilson's thoughts about the talented edge rusher.
"Unfortunately it's always part of the business," Simmons said of the trade rumors. "I think in the terms of for us, I think Chubb's been an outstanding player. I honestly don't pay attention to any of that type of stuff. Obviously I've heard [about it], you hear those types of things. I love playing with Chubb. Chubb's been an amazing player. I think he's a great player for us. In my opinion, [he's] having his best year with us. I'd love for him to be my teammate forever. He makes my job so much easier in the back end, the way he's disruptive. Not only in the pass game, the run game too. I absolutely love him."