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Seattle Seahawks’ Pete Carroll says Russell Wilson ‘in good spirits,’ helping Geno Smith prepare for starting role

Written by on October 11, 2021

RENTON, Wash. — Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said quarterback Russell Wilson is “in good spirits” as he embraces his new role, which is to help Geno Smith prepare to start in his absence.

As for how long Smith will have to quarterback the Seahawks, Carroll wouldn’t give any estimate on when the team thinks Wilson can return from finger surgery.

Life without Wilson officially began Monday as the Seahawks held a 30-minute practice, which is standard coming off a Thursday night game. It marked the first time in Wilson’s nine-plus NFL seasons that he missed a practice because of an injury. He watched while wearing a bandage over the middle finger on his throwing hand, which was surgically repaired on Friday after he suffered a tendon rupture and a fracture-dislocation the night before in Seattle’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

“Russ had a very successful surgery and we’re really happy with all the reports and we don’t have any timelines for you at all right now,” Carroll said. “I know that’s all you want to hear. But we don’t have anything like that. But he’s in really good spirits and really active today as much as he can be around us and all that. Really happy for the results for the initial part of it.”

Carroll said there was no choice for Wilson but to have surgery, and declined to give a timeline on his return when pressed. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday that the team believes he has a realistic chance to make it back in four weeks.

Seattle plays the Steelers, the Saints and the Jaguars over the next three weeks, before its bye.

Carroll said Wilson will remain with the team while rehabbing. Asked if Wilson will be placed on injured reserve — which would require him to miss at least three games — Carroll said, “We’ll see. That’s an option.”

The Seahawks will have to make some sort of move at quarterback because Smith is the only healthy one they have on their 53-man roster. Jake Luton, a second-year player, spent the first three games on their 53-man roster as a game-day inactive and has been on their practice squad since.

Carroll called it “a real advantage” for Smith to be in his third season with the Seahawks. Before replacing Wilson in the fourth quarter Thursday night, Smith’s only action with Seattle outside of preseason came in mop-up duty. He has made 31 starts since entering the NFL in 2013, but none since 2017.

“He’s been through everything that we’ve done, he’s gone every step of the way with Russ,” Carroll said. “They have been just shoulder to shoulder through all of the process. He’s been a great help for Russ, he’s been a great sounding board for Russ. He’s just been an asset.”

Carroll said Wilson knows it’s now his job “to help Geno and get him ready.”

“Imagine how if he can figure out a way how he can compete at that, he’s doing it,” Carroll said. “So he’s already starting to listen to the game plan, he’s figuring out where it fits and how it’s going to go. He’s going to prepare just like he was playing. His plan is to stay as sharp and as fresh as he possibly can.”

Carroll said linebacker Bobby Wagner suffered a bruised knee against the Rams but gave no firm indication on his status. He said running back Chris Carson made a “big turn” over the weekend in the right direction after missing that game with a neck injury, “so we’ll see how it goes.”

The Seahawks were not required to provide a report detailing participation in Monday’s practice. Carson and Wagner were standing off to the side and not wearing helmets during the period that was open to reporters.

The team activated tight end Gerald Everett off COVID-19 reserve and designated center Ethan Pocic to practice. They have 21 days to activate Pocic off injured reserve.

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