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Russell Wilson's ability to adjust his style has guided him through injuries

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was asked earlier this week how Russell Wilson adjusted his game to play through knee and ankle injuries during the first month of the season.

"Everybody keeps asking that, like, 'So now he's really understanding how to throw the ball from the pocket,'" Carroll said. "That's a bunch of bunk. That's not the truth -- he's been doing this. He had some decisions to make that are different, and he had to take to this, and he had to throw the ball. You saw a couple times, he's had to chuck the football a couple times instead of letting them hit him or try to escape where he might have done his dipsy-doodle, spin around and all of that kind of stuff. That was a little bit different. There's nothing wrong with that. That's good for him to understand that in that regard. We're just talking about a couple percentages of his focus of what he did that was different."

Carroll has taken aim at critics who have suggested Wilson can't operate from the pocket. But the first four games this season have reinforced what Carroll has said for a while: One of Wilson's biggest strengths is his ability to adjust and make corrections.

In Week 1, Wilson suffered a right high ankle sprain but played through it and led the offense on a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. In Week 3, he sprained the MCL in his left knee and came out of the game in the third quarter, but Wilson rehabbed and was brilliant last week against the New York Jets.

The 3-1 Seahawks are expecting Wilson to be close to 100 percent when they return from the bye. But below is a look at how the quarterback tweaked his game to adjust to playing with injuries, with numbers courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information:

From the pocket

The idea that Wilson can't operate from the pocket is tired and silly. In his first four seasons, he completed 67.8 percent of his passes (fifth), averaged 8.16 yards per attempt (first) and posted a passer rating of 105.9 (second) on throws from inside the pocket.

What's been different this year is how quickly he's gotten rid of the ball. Wilson's average time before a pass is 2.37 seconds, ninth fastest in the NFL. Last year, he showed the ability to do this in specific situations -- against the blitz and on third down. But Wilson still finished 32nd overall (2.67 seconds) because he's good at extending plays and scrambling.

This season, Wilson has completed 68.1 percent of his passes, averaged 8.35 yards per attempt and posted a passer rating of 102.0 from the pocket. The offense got off to a shaky start in Weeks 1 and 2, but the version we've seen the past two games looks similar to the one that averaged 32 points per contest in the second half of 2015.

Outside the pocket

This is the part of Wilson's game that has been affected the most. Last year, 20.7 percent of Wilson's throws were attempted while he was outside the pocket -- whether they were designed or he was improvising.

Through four games, that number is just 10.5 percent.

Wilson has compensated for his inability to improvise as much by allowing his weapons to make plays even when they're not necessarily open. Guys like Jimmy Graham, Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson have rewarded him by making difficult, contested catches. And this trust is something the Seahawks should benefit from even when Wilson is healthy.

Scrambles and runs

Last year, Wilson scrambled on 9.7 percent of his dropbacks; this year, that number is just 4.1 percent.

He's averaged just 3.8 rushing attempts per game, which would be easily a career low if it stood for 16 games. Last season, Wilson averaged 6.4 rushing attempts per game.

Overall, Wilson has been sacked on 6.1 percent of his dropbacks; last season, it was 7.7 percent.

He's on a remarkable 12-game streak. Since Week 10 of last season, Wilson is completing 66.8 percent of his passes, averaging 8.40 yards per attempt, and has thrown 30 touchdowns against three interceptions for a league-best passer rating of 115.6.

Carroll said earlier this week that he believes the 2016 Seahawks could be his best team yet, and one of the major reasons why he believes that is because Russell has shown he can be effective in a variety of ways.