Report: Russell Wilson could be back in four weeks

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The initial timetable applied to quarterback Russell Wilson‘s absence was six-to-eight weeks. He could be back sooner than that.

An unnamed source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com that Wilson could return in as little as four weeks.

“That’s now the hope and, depending on some other factors, that’s possible,” the source said.

Technically, it doesn’t matter if Wilson is ready in four weeks. Four weeks from today, Seattle’s bye arrives.

So the real question is whether he’ll be ready in five weeks, when the Seahawks travel to Green Bay to face the Packers.

Five weeks would still land ahead of the initial timetable. It won’t be a surprise if it happens. Professional athletes sometimes heal faster than the normal person. Also, Wilson will push as hard as he can to be back as soon as he can.

For now, the challenge for the Seahawks will be to find ways to win without Wilson. Geno Smith will start against the Steelers, Saints, and Jaguars. Three losses would drop the Seahawks to 2-6 and basically require them to run the table to get to the postseason. A 1-2 showing would mean 3-5, which would still necessitate a solid turnaround.

At 2-1 or 3-0, which becomes 4-4 or 5-3, respectively, the Seahawks would still be in the thick of things.

Ultimately, these next three games become critical to whether the Seahawks will be playing after Week 18.