Like all NFL players who are playing through injury, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson would deny that his previously mangled middle finger continues to bother him. Hopefully for him, the truth is that the finger continues to be an issue.
Wilson isn’t the guy that he was as recently as a year ago. He’s not. Apart from the fact that he no longer has the burst to run away from pressure that he once did, Wilson’s accuracy isn’t where it once was.
Three times in the second half, Wilson underthrew otherwise open receivers. On a third-and-four play near the middle of the field, Wilson moved in the pocket and directed receiver Dee Eskridge to go deeper before firing a rainbow that ultimately didn’t get as far up the field as it could have been. On a later third-and-14 effort, Wilson badly fell short on a throw to receiver D.K. Metcalf, who had blown past Jalen Ramsey but then had to stop and wait for the ball.
Then, on a fateful fourth-and-six snap following three straight runs, Wilson had running back DeeJay Dallas open. The ball came in short. And, yes, the officials inexplicably failed to call pass interference. Still, Wilson didn’t put the ball where it needed to be.
After the game, Curtis Crabtree of KJR and PFT asked Wilson whether he’s performing up to the personal standard he has set for himself.
“Where I want to be is wherever our record could be . . . that’s where I want to be,” Wilson said. He added that his health is “getting better and better every week.”
It may indeed be the finger. If it isn’t, that’s a real problem for Wilson, who has seen several younger quarterbacks enter the league and surpass him in recent years. For the first time, it’s fair to ask whether Wilson is slipping.
Again, hopefully it’s the finger. Hopefully, by 2022, he’ll be truly and fully 100 percent as a thrower. This doesn’t change the fact that he doesn’t move like he once did, but he can play as long as he wants if he can throw it accurately and consistently.
That said, there’s still a chance that it’s the offense, not the guy running it. We’ll address that fairly important topic, including the potential solutions for Wilson, in a later item.