The Seattle Seahawks are preparing for a future without quarterback Russell Wilson in the starting lineup. According to a report by ESPN, the team believes he will be out for “at least a month” as he recovers from an injury to the middle finger of his throwing hand.
Jeremy Fowler provided the update on Friday, October 8. He reported that Wilson has a ruptured middle-finger tendon that would likely require surgery. Shortly after Fowler’s report, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Wilson underwent surgery on Friday. He said that the procedure was “more complicated” than expected and that hand specialist Dr. Steven Shin of Kerlan-Jobe had to stabilize the finger with screws. Rapoport also placed the recovery timeline at about six weeks.
Wilson damaged the finger during the loss to the Rams on Thursday, October 7. He threw a pass, and his hand connected with the right harm of an oncoming Aaron Donald. Wilson remained on the field for one more possession, but he did not have the ability to grip the ball or throw properly. Once the fourth quarter started, he headed to the sideline while backup Geno Smith threw for 131 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
Wilson Avoided Fracturing His Finger During the Loss
When Wilson headed to the sidelines with the injury, he created immediate concern among the coaching staff, the front office, and the fanbase. Many wondered if he had suffered extensive damage to the finger. However, he avoided one major setback.
According to Rapoport, Wilson initially had an X-ray done on his finger. They did not reveal a fracture in the finger, which provided some optimism about Wilson’s recovery timeline. Though the quarterback later headed to Los Angeles for consultation with Dr. Shin, and ultimately, the surgery.
“I thought this is a significant night because Russell wasn’t able to finish the second half,” head coach Pete Carroll told reporters after the game. “He’s got a badly sprained finger that we need to figure out. There is work to be done in assessing all of that. Russell is one of the great healers of all-time and he’ll do whatever he can to get back as soon as absolutely possible.”
Carroll added in his postgame presser that he could not yet provide a timeline for Wilson’s recovery and return. He said that he did not yet have enough information. Now, however, both ESPN and NFL Network have provided a grim outlook.
Geno Smith Will Lead the Seahawks for Much of the 2021 Season
With Wilson now focusing on his recovery, the Seahawks will move forward with Smith as the starting quarterback and Jake Luton as the likely backup. Carroll expressed faith in his backup during the postgame presser, but the veteran will have to make some big plays under center to keep the Seahawks in games, especially if the defense continues to give up nearly 500 yards of offense.
The immediate schedule features a trip to Pittsburgh to face the 1-3 Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger and co. have struggled mightily during the first quarter of the schedule, so the trip will serve as a solid opportunity for Smith to get the Seahawks to 3-3. However, there are some more difficult games on the horizon.
Following the battle with the Steelers, the Seahawks will face the Saints (October 25), the Jaguars (October 31), and the Packers (November 14). The team has a Week 9 bye that will provide extra time for Wilson to get back to full health. The Seahawks will then round out November with games against the Cardinals (November 21) and the Football Team (November 29).