When DK Metcalf talked about his speedy recovery from knee surgery during the preseason, he referred to himself as Wolverine, one of the most popular heroes of the X-Men universe.
“He doesn't stay down for long," Metcalf told ESPN reporter Brady Henderson. "If he gets a cut or a bruise or something, then it goes away immediately. I've been dealing with injuries for the past couple of months, and they've kind of lingered around for a little bit and then go away."
Wolverine has many abilities. From rapid-self healing and superhuman strength and speed to animal-like instincts and reflexes. All this while looking like someone who needs to be on the cover of Men's Health magazine.
Metcalf has displayed just about everything Wolverine can do. He possesses the lethal combination of size and strength that enemies of Wolverine have come to fear. With him undergoing knee surgery just a few short weeks ago, Metcalf mirrored the regenerative and self-healing abilities that Wolverine boasts whenever he takes a bullet or a blow that would fatally wound any mere mortal.
Over the course of an NFL season, a player's health will deteriorate as they take hit after hit during the 16-game schedule. With the hits he took on Sunday, it looks like Metcalf will need to channel that self-regenerative power on multiple occasions to get through the entire season. So far, so good.
However, no word on whether or not claws made from the indestructible metal adamantium come out of his hands, and we may never know, since his hands are often covered by gloves.
Coming out of Ole Miss, his combination of size, strength and speed made him very attractive to just about every NFL team. After he plunged to the end of the second round, the Seahawks traded up and drafted him 64th overall.
Since his arrival in May, the DK Metcalf hype train has been gaining steam thanks to his heroics seen consistently on the practice field.
During Sunday's 21-20 win over the visiting Bengals, Metcalf put his superhuman-like abilities on display, catching four passes for 89 yards, including a 42-yard reception which set up the Seahawks offense for a touchdown before the half.
At 6-foot-3 and almost 230 pounds, most of which is pure muscle, Metcalf presents an impressive frame and catch radius. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has never had such a physical specimen at receiver to which to throw until Metcalf's recent arrival.
"I thought DK was special. He fought for the football. He was special." Wilson said following the game. "It’s exciting to for him to come in and make some great plays in the first game... He looked great tonight."
Using his size and strength, Metcalf came away with the ball when other receivers would have been overpowered by pesky, speedy defensive backs. On multiple occasions during the game against the Bengals, it looked as if catching the ball was unlikely, but Metcalf again showed why the Wolverine comparison is more than just a fable.
His first catch of his NFL career was a slant route, where he used his sheer size to shield the defender off and make the grab.
He then used speed that should not be possessed by a man of his size, or really any human being, to glide past Bengals cornerback William Jackson III on that key 42-yard reception late in the first half.
In the second half, Wilson stepped up in the pocket to evade several Cincinnati pass rushers and put his trust in Metcalf by lofting a ball into double coverage. The massive receiver didn't let his quarterback down, reeling in the pass, hanging on as he got blasted by two defenders, and then flexing to a fired up sellout crowd at CenturyLink Field.
"It means a lot." Metcalf said when asked about Wilson trusting him so much early in his career. "All we can do is build on it. It’s just amazing to be out there. Like I said, it’s just a blessing."
Seahawks fans are excited for the next installment of their version of Wolverine. Let's just hope it's much better than some of the X-Men sequels Hugh Jackman starred in.