With Russell Wilson out, what’s next for the Seahawks, Geno Smith? – Seattle Seahawks Blog
RENTON, Wash. – Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson underwent surgery Friday to repair a ruptured tendon and middle finger fracture in his pitcher’s hand. Sources tell ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that the team is preparing for Wilson to miss four to eight weeks.
This seriously jeopardizes Seattle’s playoff hopes and further blurs the picture of Wilson’s future in Seattle.
Here are some things to know about the situation:
Why is it so different for Seattle?
Because Wilson’s availability has been the most consistent aspect of Seahawks football over the past decade.
Not only has he never missed a game since joining the NFL in 2012, he’s been so tough he hasn’t even missed a practice with injury in his nine-plus seasons – not even when he suffered sprains to his right ankle (when he was stepped on by Ndamukong Suh) and his left knee (when he was awkwardly bent by a 49ers defenseman) over a 14-day span in 2016. Les two only practices Wilson missed in his career were attending a funeral. He regularly pops up from seemingly devastating punches (like Clay Matthews’ indiscriminate jaw in the NFC Championship game) as if nothing had happened.
In that sense, it is surprising that Wilson is running out of time. In that sense, he’s not: Research from ESPN Stats & Information indicates he’s been hit 1,556 times in his career, most quarters since 2012. So it was probably inevitable.
Can Geno Smith keep Seahawks’ playoff hopes alive?
It is not excluded that Wilson will return to the start of the four to eight week schedule.
Smith is 12-19 years old in his starting career, although that’s mostly for mediocre to bad New York Jets teams. He could be one of the best substitutes in the league, and he played well enough on Thursday night to give Seattle a chance to win. Smith went 5 for 5 and showed good mobility on the 98-yard drive he capped off with a touchdown pass to DK Metcalf, although the Rams may have conceded a few shots below to avoid a quick score. .
If Wilson misses, say, five games, that would mean Smith would start with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3), against the New Orleans Saints (2-2), against the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4), at the Green Bay Packers (3-1) after the Seattle leave and against the Arizona Cardinals (4-0). The Steelers game is winnable with Ben Roethlisberger’s broken down appearance, and Seattle could even be favored at home against the Jaguars without a win.
So that might be the Seahawks’ best and most realistic hope: to win those two games, hope the Rams and Cardinals fight and pray that Wilson can return in almost four weeks instead of eight.
Having a good racing game would lighten the burden on Smith, but here’s another problem: Chris Carson faces a neck injury that kept him from facing the Rams.
What about their struggling defense?
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• Time for the Eagles to shake up the backfield?
• Did the Raiders finally replace Mack?
This is another big deal on Pete Carroll’s plate.
For the second year in a row, the Seahawks are notched at an historic rate. They have allowed at least 450 yards in four straight games. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, this is the longest streak in team history and the longest in NFL history.
Their passing rush was expected to be strong enough to ease some of the pressure on their dubious group of cornerbacks, but he has underperformed and has yet to be sacked by Jamal Adams. Their defensive turnaround last year was sparked by their pass rush. They have just as much firepower there this year, which gives hope that they can improve.
But unless they do, it doesn’t matter who plays the quarterback.
How could that affect Wilson’s future in Seattle?
This is the biggest question of all and the most difficult to answer.
Wilson and the Seahawks are in a better situation since he expressed his frustrations early in the offseason, leading both sides to flirt with the idea of a split. But the situation was by no means definitively resolved. Wilson has put his concerns on the back burner with a plan to revisit them at the end of the season.
It seemed logical that in order for Wilson to be satisfied at the end of the season, he should feel like his pass protection has improved, he should like the fit in the offense of new coordinator Shane Waldron, and the Seahawks would have to at least overcome their divisional playoff bump.
But that equation seems a lot less straightforward now that Wilson will run out of time and Seattle could miss the playoffs because of it.
The Seahawks’ offense has seen its ups and downs over the course of five games, despite Wilson being a fan of Waldron and approving him for the job. Seattle had roughly the same result as last season in terms of block win rate, quarterback contact percentage and sacks per setback. But it doesn’t suit Wilson that the pass thrower who injured him, Aaron Donald, is the same who gave him the most fits over the years.