By no means thoughts all of the troubling issues that occurred to the Seahawks on Thursday evening in a crushing 26-17 loss to the Rams — particularly from a Seattle protection that at essential occasions supplied shockingly little resistance and yielded 476 yards.
These breakdowns didn’t come near reflecting the nightmare state of affairs that unfolded late within the recreation.
One fixed the Seahawks have had by their dynasty years, and thru the continued quest to get again to that degree, has been No. 3 beneath middle. Few quarterbacks in historical past have been extra sturdy than Russell Wilson, to the purpose you generally neglect that he’s taking part in a brutally violent recreation that makes him as susceptible as anybody else to an harm.
The one factor that the Seahawks have lengthy dreaded, and miraculously prevented for a decade, got here to cross Thursday on a seemingly innocuous play within the third quarter.
On an unsuccessful cross to Tyler Lockett, Wilson emerged with a badly sprained center finger on his throwing hand, apparently from hitting onrushing Aaron Donald, a longtime nemesis. On tv, you possibly can see the finger bent in a path that was not pure.
Wilson tried to play yet one more sequence, however it was apparent that he couldn’t grip the ball satisfactorily to guide the requisite cross assault it could take to beat the Rams. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll mentioned that Wilson and the medical workers concluded that it wasn’t prudent for the quarterback to proceed — which was a shock to the senses as a result of Wilson all the time had discovered a strategy to get again out on the sector, regardless of how dire it appeared.
His alternative, Geno Smith, carried out valiantly when compelled into the sport, producing 10 factors in beneath seven minutes that gave the Seahawks a shot to win. However that storybook state of affairs dissolved when Smith, who had thrown a mere 9 passes in mop-up obligation over the previous three years, yielded an interception with simply over two minutes to play.
Now the Seahawks will not be solely coping with a sub-.500 report, and making an attempt to determine patch up a porous cross protection that made it far too straightforward for Matt Stafford to maneuver down area (most egregiously on a 68-yard completion on third-and-10 that modified the whole tenor of the sport).
In addition they are going through the prospect of life with out the quarterback who has produced extra victories at this stage of his profession than any QB in historical past.
Carroll had few solutions to a litany of postgame questions concerning the extent of Wilson’s harm, or the potential size of his absence. He did name Wilson “one of many nice healers of all-time,” which is a delicate method of claiming that if anybody can discover a strategy to play in Seattle’s subsequent recreation per week from Sunday in Pittsburgh, it’s Wilson.
“He’s been simply remarkably sturdy,” Carroll mentioned. “And what’s the marvelous half about it’s his angle and the way he approaches it. I imply, he’s going to heal. He’s going to heal himself. … He makes stuff occur, you realize — and marvelous issues.”
Certainly, among the many ignored qualities in Wilson’s very good run as Seahawks quarterback has been his endurance. As many sacks as he’s taken through the years (far too many, as each Seahawks fan is aware of all too nicely); as many hits as he’s absorbed; he takes a lickin’ and retains on throwin’.
The truth is, in 148 earlier begins since he joined the league in 2012, Wilson had missed a grand complete of two performs by advantage of harm. In 2016, he was so hobbled by an ankle harm that it appeared nigh unattainable he wouldn’t should take a while off to heal. However week after week, he stored hobbling on the market and wound up throwing for probably the most yards of his profession that season in main Seattle again to the playoffs.
After all, there are accidents that even probably the most tenacious participant, with the best ache tolerance, can’t play by. The medical assessments Wilson will take within the coming days will present that reply. If he misses extra time, the Seahawks will likely be counting on Smith, who hasn’t performed commonly since 2014 with the Jets. And so they’ll be doing so with treasured little margin to soak up extra losses in the event that they need to grasp within the playoff race.
Smith, who turns 31 Sunday, gave motive for optimism if that circumstance arises with a gutty efficiency off the bench. On his first drive, he led the Seahawks brilliantly down the sector 98 yards for a landing, hitting DK Metcalf with a wonderfully thrown 23-yard cross ultimately zone. Removed from being rusty, Smith performed with precision, finishing 5-of-5 passes for 72 yards whereas operating 6 yards on the scoring drive, which minimize LA’s result in 16-14.
Smith’s subsequent drive, after a Rams’ landing, superior all the way in which to the LA 14 earlier than it stalled, producing a area objective. And when the Seahawks compelled a punt on the Rams’ subsequent possession, “We had an opportunity to win a soccer recreation with all that — the ball in our fingers and a pair minutes to go,” Carroll mirrored afterward.
Within the second huge anticlimax in Seattle sports activities this week — following the Mariners’ fade from the wild-card race on the ultimate weekend — Smith’s remaining cross, with the Lumen Discipline followers reaching cacophony degree of frenzy, resulted in an interception as Lockett was tripped as he moved downfield.
Thus ended the Seahawks’ hopes of pulling out a miracle victory. Now they have to ponder the prospect of life with out Wilson for no matter size of time that transpires, if in any respect.
It’s a brand-new set of worries for the Seahawks, whose quarterback has been as dependable because the tides for a decade. It’s the very last thing they needed, or anticipated, to fret about.
Seattle Instances columnist
[email protected]; on Twitter: @StoneLarry. Larry Stone calls upon greater than 30 years as a sportswriter to supply perception, knowledge, opinion, evaluation – and hopefully some humor – concerning the extensive world of sports activities. Subjects embody the joys of victory, the agony of defeat, and, particularly, the folks accountable for both end result, in addition to the extensive chasm between.