Perhaps the most important thing will be if Wilson will remain in the team, if it falls dramatically without him
RENTON, Wash. – Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson underwent surgery Friday to repair a torn tendon and a fractured middle finger on his pitching hand. Sources told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that the team is preparing to be without Wilson for four to eight weeks.
It seriously jeopardizes Seattle’s playoff hopes and further clouds the image of Wilson’s future in Seattle.
Here are some things to know about the situation:
Why is this so different for Seattle?
Because Wilson’s availability has been the most consistent aspect of the Seahawks’ performance over the past decade.
Not only has he never missed a game since entering the NFL in 2012, but he has been so resilient that he has not even missed a practice due to injury in his more than nine seasons, not even when he sprained the game. right ankle (after being stepped on by Ndamukong Suh) and his left knee (when a 49ers defender bent it) over a 14-day span in 2016. The only two practices Wilson missed during his career were attending funerals . He routinely shows up after seemingly devastating blows (like Clay Matthews’ jaw blow in the NFC Championship Game) as if nothing happened.
In that sense, it is surprising that Wilson is going to miss games. In this sense, he is not: ESPN data says he has been hit 1,556 times in his career, the most for any quarterback since 2012. So it was probably unavoidable.
Can Geno Smith keep the Seahawks’ playoff hopes alive?
It’s not out of the question whether Wilson returns within those four to eight weeks.
Smith is 12-19 in his starting career, though that was mostly for mediocre to bad teams like the New York Jets. He could be one of the best backups in the league, and he played well enough Thursday night to give Seattle a chance to win. Smith was 5-of-5 and showed good mobility on the 98-yard drive that capped off a touchdown pass to DK Metcalf, although the Rams could have made a few short throws to avoid a quick touchdown.
If Wilson misses, say, five games, that would mean Smith would start against the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3), against the New Orleans Saints (2-2), against the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4), Green Bay Packers ( 3-1) after the break in Seattle and against the Arizona Cardinals (4-0). The Steelers game can be won with how broken Ben Roethlisberger looks, and Seattle could even be the home favorite against the winless Jaguars.
So this might be the Seahawks’ best and most realistic hope: to win those two games, hope the Rams and Cardinals fight each other, and pray for Wilson as soon as possible and not in eight weeks.
Having a good running game would ease the burden on Smith, but here’s another problem: Chris Carson is dealing with a neck injury that knocked him out against the Rams.
What about your defense?
That’s another big problem on Pete Carroll’s plate.
For the second year in a row, the Seahawks are being killed at a historic rate. They have allowed at least 450 yards in four straight games. According to ESPN Data, that’s the longest streak in franchise records and it’s tied for the longest in NFL history.
They were expected to push hard enough to take some pressure off their dubious group of cornerbacks, but they have underperformed and are yet to have a catch from Jamal Adams. His defensive improvement last year was started by his pressure on the quarterback. They have the same firepower there this year, which provides hope that they can improve.
But unless they do, it won’t matter who plays quarterback.
How could this affect Wilson’s future in Seattle?
That is the most important question of all and the hardest to answer.
Wilson who spoke about his frustrations early in the offseason, leading both sides to flirt with the idea of a split. But the situation was not definitively resolved. Wilson took his concerns into the background and will address them when the season is over.
It seemed logical that for Wilson to be happy at the end of the season, he would have to feel like his protection has improved, he would have to like new coordinator Shane Waldron’s adjustment to offense, and the Seahawks would at least have to advance beyond the Playoff round that they are used to.
But that equation seems a lot less straightforward now that Wilson won’t be around and Seattle could miss the playoffs because of it.
The Seahawks’ offense has been up and down in five games, though Wilson is a fan of Waldron and backed him up for the job. Seattle has fared about the same as last season in pass-win block rate, quarterback contact percentage and sacks per dropback. But Wilson doesn’t like that the pass rusher who hurt him, Aaron Donald, is the one who has given him the most attacks over the years.