NFL News & Analysis

Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson out at least one month with finger injury

Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) stands on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will miss at least the next month, and potentially up to 6-8 weeks, due to a ruptured middle-finger tendon on his right hand.

Losing Wilson is a huge blow to a Seahawks team that is already playing below expectation in 2021, sporting a disappointing 2-3 record.

However, Wilson hasn't been an issue, as he currently has the second-highest passing grade (89.5) in the NFL, behind only Tom Brady. Before the injury, Wilson amassed 1,196 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and a 125.3 passer rating while completing 72.1% of his passes. Most impressively, Wilson has 13 big-time throws (third-most among QBs) but zero turnover-worthy plays.

Former New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith should takeover Seahawks' starting QB gig in Wilson's absence. While filling in for Wilson against the Los Angeles Rams, Smith went 10 of 17 for 131 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception, finishing with a 64.9 overall grade.

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Wilson suffered an injury known as “mallet finger” during the Seahawks' Thursday night loss to the Rams and underwent surgery Friday morning.

The procedure required screws to be inserted into the finger to fix the tendon. The requirement of multiple screws over a pin means it was more complicated than initially thought. Wilson is expected to miss between six and eight weeks. 


Wilson and Seahawks offense were off to fast start this season: Seattle has averaged 7.6 yards per pass play (fourth) through five weeks this season, and Wilson's 90.3 PFF grade ranked second among qualifying quarterbacks following Thursday night's game against the Rams. Click here to find PFF's NFL player grades.

The offense didn't stall when Smith entered the game: The Seahawks produced a first down or touchdown on 38% of Smith's snaps after he entered the game against Los Angeles, higher than the NFL average of 30% this season. Click here to find PFF's NFL premium stats.

Smith's play under pressure could become an issue: Wilson has been under pressure on 39% of his dropbacks this season, but he was able to make the most of those situations with a 103.6 passer rating when pressured (tied for fourth-best in NFL). Smith produced a 52.8 passer rating under pressure the last time he started for an extended period of time in 2014. Click here to read PFF's 2021 QB Annual.

Year Team Snaps Overall PFF Grade
Rank among QBs
2013 NYJ 989 60.7 35th of 44
2014 NYJ 819 57.1 29th of 42
2015 NYJ 65 60.3 N/A
2016 NYJ 33 65.0 N/A
2017 NYG 66 70.9 N/A
2018 LAC 32 20.6 N/A
2019 SEA 0
2020 SEA 18 62.2 N/A
2021 SEA 25 64.9 N/A


Geno Smith is a major unknown: Smith played admirably in Wilson’s absence against the Rams. However, the journeyman quarterback has no history to suggest continued high-level performance – he has started exactly two games since 2015, both of which were losses to the Raiders. Click here to find PFF's 2021 fantasy projections.

Downgrade the entire Seahawks offense: D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett‘s fantasy value takes a major hit while Wilson is on the sidelines. Expect the Seahawks offense to morph into a shell and attempt to consistently establish the run. It will be difficult to trust Metcalf or Lockett as anything more than inconsistent WR2s. Click here to find PFF's 2021 fantasy rankings.

Quarterback options if Wilson is on your fantasy team: Head to the waiver wire for quarterback help to replace Wilson. Sam Darnold and Daniel Jones are both widely available and bring rushing upside to the position. If streaming at the bottom of the barrel for Week 5, look at Zach Wilson or Jameis Winston. Plan ahead for Week 6 with Tua Tagovailoa, who should return from injury to face the Jacksonville Jaguars.


Seahawks season reaches disaster:  Wilson's hand injury torpedoes the Seahawks' chances of staying relevant in the NFC West. PFF's most recent simulation had Seattle with a 53% chance to make the playoffs and a 15% chance at winning the division. The Thursday night loss further decreases their chances, as they will be at the longest odds in the division when markets reopen next week. Seattle appears set to finish well below their season-long win total based on this stretch without Wilson. PFF's Betting Futures Tool reveals betting opportunities within season win total and future markets.

Seahawks recent outlook crashes:  Wilson is worth 7.5 spread points based on PFF's power ratings tool. With Smith, that is expected to drop nearly six points. Week 6's Sunday night showdown had Seattle as a 2.5-point road favorite in preseason markets, with the lookahead line as a field goal differential. After the market digests Smith starting, we should see the spread swing all the way back to Pittsburgh Steelers as a field goal favorite — even with Ben Roethlisberger near the league-low in QB points against the spread. Check out PFF's Betting Dashboard. 

Injuries derail the rest of the skill position players down: Metcalf broke out on Thursday night, as he was Smith's preferred target through two drives. Chris Carson being out doesn't help a run game that will now see more stacked boxes. The game script could also benefit Metcalf, who looks like the biggest boom or bust prop play based on matchup for the foreseeable future. Check out PFF's Player Prop Tool.


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