SEATTLE — The Seattle Seahawks now have more than a 2-3 start and an early deficit in the NFC West standings to worry about. For one of the few times over the last decade, Russell Wilson‘s health is also a concern.
Wilson was knocked out of their 26-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night after injuring the middle finger on his throwing hand in the third quarter. He returned for one series but was replaced by Geno Smith, who led a touchdown drive to give Seattle hope but then threw an interception to all but seal the win for the Rams (4-1).
Speaking after the game, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called the injury to his star QB a “badly sprained finger.” He said the team will continue to assess it and that it’s too early to put a timetable on Wilson’s return.
Carroll also said he didn’t know if Wilson will need surgery on the finger.
The Seahawks next travel to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers on Oct. 17. Wilson has a streak of 149 consecutive starts — the longest by an active quarterback.
Smith replaced Wilson early in the fourth quarter and threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to DK Metcalf to cut Los Angeles’ lead to 16-14. That capped a 10-play, 98-yard drive on which Smith went 5 for 5, and it had the crowd at Lumen Field chanting “GE-NO! GE-NO!”
Wilson banged his throwing hand against Aaron Donald on a third-quarter incompletion. He was examined for several minutes on the sideline by the Seahawks’ team doctor and members of their athletic training staff, who watched Wilson grip a football and then appeared to bandage his middle finger.
Wilson returned for the Seahawks’ next drive, throwing one pass on a three-and-out. He was replaced by Smith when Seattle regained possession. After Smith’s touchdown pass to Metcalf, Wilson ran down the sideline to celebrate with teammates, patting one player on the helmet with his left hand.
Wilson has never missed a game since entering the NFL in 2012.
The 30-year-old Smith is in his third season with the Seahawks. Over his first two, he had only attempted five passes in mop-up duty.
Smith’s touchdown pass was his first since 2017. His 98-yard drive was the longest of his career and the Seahawks’ longest touchdown drive since Week 17 of the 2018 season, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Before Thursday, the last Seahawk to throw a touchdown other than Wilson was receiver Doug Baldwin on a trick play in 2016.