The Seattle Seahawks lost to the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday, October 7, falling to 2-3 on the season. The offense finished out the fourth quarter without Russell Wilson after the seven-time Pro Bowler injured his middle finger on Aaron Donald, but backup Geno Smith proved his value as a backup by keeping the Seahawks within reach of the win.
Smith came into the game for the first drive of the fourth quarter. He immediately began picking apart the Rams secondary while finding his surrounding playmakers. Smith connected with DK Metcalf for 17 yards and tight end Will Dissly for another eight. The veteran backup continued moving the offense down the field before ultimately finding Metcalf for a 23-yard touchdown in the front corner of the end zone, capping off a 98-yard drive.
Smith led two scoring drivers to put the Seahawks within reach of the Rams. Despite having limited reps, he still displayed chemistry with Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Dissly on both scoring drives. Smith also got rid of the ball quickly, partially negating the pass rush.
The backup had the opportunity to lead a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter, but he could not complete his storybook night. He dropped back on his own six-yard line with 2:09 remaining in the game and launched a pass deep to Lockett. However, the speedy receiver tripped and fell on his route, leaving safety Nick Scott open to snag a game-sealing interception.
Smith ended his night 10 of 17 for 131 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Head coach Pete Carroll later spoke positively about his veteran quarterback in his post-game presser, saying that Smith “showed that we are in good hands” if Wilson has to miss any time.
Alex Collins Made an Impact in Chris Carson’s Absence
The Seahawks created concern among fans on Wednesday, October 6, by explaining that running back Chris Carson would be a game-time decision. Head coach Pete Carroll said that the fifth-year pro was dealing with a lingering neck injury that “flared up” on him.
Carson was not able to suit up for Thursday’s game, so the Seahawks turned to Alex Collins. The veteran did not disappoint when given the chance. He provided a reliable option throughout the game as both a runner and a receiver. For example, his 20-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter put the Seahawks in the red zone and helped set up a Jason Myers field goal.
Collins did not have a perfect performance. He tried to cut back toward the center of the offensive line on one play near the 30-yard line instead of running through an open hole on the left side for a first down. However, he still ended his night with 15 carries for 47 yards — a 3.1 average. He added another 25 yards on two receptions. DeeJay Dallas (four carries) and Travis Homer (one carry) combined for 12 yards while only serving as backups.
Smith & Collins Could Play Significant Roles in Week 6
With the Seahawks playing on Thursday night, there is now extra time for both Carson and Wilson to get back to full health. However, having both men back in the starting lineup is not a certainty given their respective issues.
Wilson, in particular, will remain a major question mark heading toward a battle with the Steelers. Extensive damage to his finger could keep him sidelined. Though the quarterback’s history indicates that only something very serious will keep him out of the lineup.
According to Dr. David Chao, an orthopedic surgeon who provides injury analysis for multiple outlets, the most likely outcome is that Wilson will have his finger pinned and that he will have an option to play in Week 6. Carroll then told ESPN and other outlets during his postgame presser that Wilson has a “bad sprain” and that he couldn’t throw after the injury.