RENTON, Wash.—Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is expected to be sidelined for several weeks after he had surgery Friday to repair two injuries to his right middle finger.
Wilson posted a photo Friday night following his surgery in Southern California. Wilson flew to Los Angeles to see hand specialist Dr. Steven Shin and determine the best course of action to repair the injury.
Wilson ruptured a tendon in what often is referred to as mallet finger, and he also had a “fracture-dislocation” of the joint at the top of his middle finger, Shin said in a statement released by the team. Rehabilitation of the injury will begin this weekend.
“I am fully confident Russell will return to the NFL this season and play at the same world-class level that fans have come to expect of one of the game’s very best quarterbacks,” Shin said in the statement.
NFL Network reported Wilson had screws inserted to stabilize the finger.
Wilson was injured during Thursday night’s 26–17 loss to the Rams when his fingers hit the arm of defensive tackle Aaron Donald on the follow through of a pass attempt. Wilson tried to play one more series and threw one more pass before giving way to Geno Smith in the fourth quarter.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Wilson simply didn’t have the strength in the finger to control the ball as needed to throw.
“Nobody should question his toughness. Nobody should question his resolve to get in the game,” Carroll said. “He’d have gone in if he could have thrown the football and held on to it, he would have done it.”
Wilson has not missed a game in his career, starting all 149 in the regular season and 16 playoff games since being drafted by the Seahawks in 2012. He’s only missed a handful of plays during that time.
Wilson had the longest active streak of starts by a quarterback.
Until now, the closest Wilson ever came to missing a game was 2016 when he suffered an ankle injury in the season opener and a sprained MCL in his knee in Week 3. In the first game after injuring his knee, he threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns in a win over the New York Jets.
Carroll said Wilson was up most of the night figuring out plans for getting his finger examined and the next steps in the process.
“This is Russ at his finest in terms of competitiveness,” Carroll said. “I mean he’s doing everything possible to be ready to take advantage of whatever is available to him.”
With Wilson out, the Seahawks season may rest in the hands of Smith. He looked great in the fourth quarter against the Rams as Seattle tried to rally from down two scores. Smith led Seattle on two scoring drives, but threw an interception with about 2 minutes remaining after Tyler Lockett stumbled.
Smith last started a game in 2017 with the New York Giants on the day Eli Manning’s streak of consecutive starts came to an end. He started one game in 2016 with the Jets, but the last time he saw any sort of extended action was 2014, his second season in the league.
Seattle is entering a manageable stretch of the schedule at Pittsburgh next weekend, followed by home games against New Orleans and Jacksonville and the bye week.
“Geno has been practicing with us for this time, waiting for his opportunity to be called upon,” Carroll said. “The patience that he has shown to stay with us, and his relationship with Russ and the coaches is impeccable.”
By Tim Booth