After missing the first NFL game of his career in a Week 6 loss to the Steelers, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is chomping at the bit to return to action and doing everything he can to be back on the field sooner rather than later.
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, coach Pete Carroll indicated Wilson is "definitely making progress" in his recovery from surgery to repair a ruptured tendon in his right middle finger. However, now more than two weeks after the operation, he still couldn't offer a timetable on when he may be able to return to play.
"We're not calling it, we're gonna wait and see," Carroll said.
Wilson suffered the injury during the third quarter of a Week 5 loss to the Rams when his hand struck defensive tackle Aaron Donald's arm. As shown on the telecast, the tip of the quarterback's finger was bent awkwardly, a sign of a dislocated finger. He came back into the game for one series, throwing a single pass to tight end Colby Parkinson, before giving way to backup Geno Smith in the fourth quarter.
Less than 24 hours later, Wilson underwent surgery in California to repair the tendon and have screws inserted into the finger to help heal a dislocation fracture. Though he participated in warmups for the Seahawks during practice last week, he was placed on injured reserve on Friday, ensuring he will miss a minimum of three games.
Prior to kickoff in Pittsburgh, Wilson could be seen on the field breaking an imaginary huddle, changing plays and making calls at the line of scrimmage while running a two-minute drill by himself. During the game, he took the field as a captain prior to opening kickoff as well as overtime, which is allowed by league rules even though he's not currently on Seattle's active roster.
Per Carroll, Wilson's first experience in the NFL recovering from a significant injury that prevented him for suiting up has been "hard on him," but he's doing the best he can to stay on top of his game mentally and physically given circumstances.
"He wants to be out there so bad," Carroll said on Monday. "He's going to continue to really condition hard and push himself physically and mentally so that he's not losing anything other than the ability to throw it. It's really admirable the way he's going about it. He's doing it exactly the best way you can possibly do it and we'll keep our fingers crossed for good results."
Set to miss at least the next two weeks, if not longer, Wilson will be eligible for activation off of injured reserve during Seattle's Week 9 bye. Initial reports indicated he could be out as many as eight weeks and at the earliest, he would be able to start on the road in Green Bay the ensuing week, which would be five weeks after surgery.
While Carroll has stated on several occasions he's not about to doubt Wilson's ability to return in Week 10, it's still way too early to know whether or not he will be ready to play against the Packers. For now, the Seahawks will continue to play the situation by ear and roll with Smith under center for at least the next two games.
"I don't know. We don't know that. The doctors can't tell you that and Russ can't tell you that, so we just gotta wait and see."
Prior to Wilson's injury, the 10th year signal caller was off to another terrific start. Through five games, he had completed 72 percent of his passes for 1,196 yards, 10 touchdowns, and only one interception while leading the league with a 125.3 passer rating and 9.6 yards per attempt average.