Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was forced to miss the fourth quarter Thursday night against the Rams after suffering an injury to the middle finger on his throwing hand.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said after the game the finger was “badly sprained” and that there was no timetable for Wilson to return.
Wilson appeared to be hurt while throwing in the third quarter; his hand made contact with Los Angeles lineman Aaron Donald’s wrist or forearm on a followthrough. Replays showed the tip of the middle finger was bent at an odd angle.
The veteran signal-caller played one drive after the injury, but then Seattle coach Pete Carroll replaced him with backup Geno Smith early in the fourth.
“He wasn’t able to hold the onto the football the way he needed to to throw it, because we were going to throw the ball and we needed to throw it all over the place,” Carroll said. “We didn’t know what he would be able to do. . . . If he could have (returned), he would have.” Carroll added the finger was “pretty darn sore.”
Smith led Seattle on a touchdown drive to cut the team’s deficit to 16-14. Los Angeles responded with a touchdown to push its lead to 23-14. Smith then led another scoring drive, this time with a field goal, to make it 23-17 with just over 2 1/2 minutes remaining.
Smith got the ball back less a minute later but threw an interception on the first play. Los Angeles responded with a field goal that made the final margin 26-17. Smith finished with 10-of-17 passing, 131 yards, a touchdown and the INT.
Wilson, 32, has never missed an NFL game in his career. In 2020, he posted his ninth consecutive season of 16 starts. He started the Seahawks’ first five games this year.
Smith, 31, has been Wilson’s backup since 2019 but had attempted just five passes, all in 2020, before Thursday. He has starting experience with the Jets, who drafted him in the second round out of West Virginia in 2013. He started 29 games for New York his first two seasons before being replaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick.
He started one more game for the Jets in 2016 and then famously started once for the Giants in 2017 when the team ended Eli Manning’s streak of consecutive regular-season starts at 210.