GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Will Dissly capitalized on an eerie scheduling coincidence and turned it into a storybook moment for himself. The Seattle Seahawks second-year tight end made his return to State Farm Stadium – the site where he tore his patellar tendon as a rookie – just one day shy of the year anniversary of his gruesome knee injury. He did so in style, catching a career-high seven passes for 57 yards and a touchdown in Seattle’s 27-10 Week 4 win.
Dissly admitted that the injury weighed on his mind pregame – the event itself, the months and months of rehab, his return and everything in between.
“I’m just grateful to be playing football again,” he said. “I worked tremendously hard, and I didn’t do it alone. My family had my back the whole way through. I never lacked in confidence, and that comes from my teammates. They built me up all week.”
Russell Wilson told reporters that he spent Sunday morning reflecting on Dissly’s injury as well. He knew how much this game in particular meant to the tight end.
“I wanted to make sure I was intentional with him today in warmups and talking to him in the locker room,” Wilson said. “I told him I was praying for him and praying with him and that he was going to be great today. I think it was pretty cool seeing him make some plays today. He’s a special guy and a special player.”
The two shared a moment pregame: A quick pass that mirrored the play where Dissly got hurt in Week 4 of last season.
“I went in warmups and I caught that same fly route,” Dissly said. “I turned and ran and said, ‘Hey, my knee works.’ From that point on I put it behind me, and I was ready to go play a game.”
Dissly scored on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Wilson in the second quarter of Sunday’s game. The tight end ran a wheel route up the left sideline, and Wilson hit him in the back of the end zone. Dissly has now scored in three straight games and has four touchdowns on the season. He’s got six touchdowns in eight career games.
Per Seahawks PR, that’s the most of any tight end in his first eight career games since Heath Miller scored six times in his first seven games for the Pittsburgh Steelers back in 2005.
What’s more important than the sentiment surrounding Dissly’s return to Arizona is the fact that he’s become a bona fide weapon in Seattle’s offense. Pete Carroll said Dissly is “better right now than he’s ever been.” The tight end has become the Seahawks clear-cut No. 2 option in the passing game behind Tyler Lockett.
“He just continues to be a really dependable football player,” Carroll said. “I love the way he’s playing. He and Russ are hooking up at crucial times. (He’s making) tough catches. He got hammered a few times when he got tackled, and he bounced right back up. He’s a tremendous Seahawk.”