Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was forced to miss the fourth quarter Thursday night against the Rams after sustaining a middle finger injury to his throwing hand.
Wilson appeared to be injured on a pitch in the third quarter; his hand made contact with Los Angeles lineman Aaron Donald’s wrist or forearm during a follow-up. Replays showed that the tip of the middle finger was bent at an odd angle.
The veteran flagman played a practice after the injury, but Seattle coach Pete Carroll replaced him with substitute Geno Smith early in the fourth.
Smith led Seattle on a touchdown to reduce the team’s deficit to 16-14. Los Angeles responded with a touchdown to increase their lead to 23-14. Smith then led another scoring campaign, this time with a field goal, to bring the score to 23-17 with just over 2.5 minutes remaining.
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Smith recovered the ball less than 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 passes for 17, 131 yards, a touchdown and the INT.
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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.
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Smith, 31, has been Wilson’s replacement since 2019 but had only attempted five assists, all in 2020, before Thursday. He has starting experience with the Jets, who drafted him in the second round to West Virginia in 2013. He started 29 games for New York in his first two seasons before being replaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick.
He started one more game for the Jets in 2016 and then started once for the Giants in 2017 when the team ended Eli Manning’s back-to-back regular-season start streak at 210.