RENTON -- Russell Wilson isn't completely back to full strength just yet but he said he's more than capable of returning to action this Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
"I feel great," Wilson said. "I feel really close. I'm not 100 percent yet but I'm pretty dang close. I would say in the 90 percentile if not higher. I feel great. I've got great conviction about what I'm doing and how I'm doing it. My mindset is better than ever, ready to roll and ready to go."
Wilson returned to practice on Monday for the first time since sustaining multiple injuries to the middle finger on his throwing hand that necessitated surgery to correct it last month. Wilson said that in addition to the "mallet finger" injury to the tendon in his middle finger, the finger became dislocated with two small fractures all at once. The injuries occurred after Wilson's hand struck Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald on the follow through of a pass attempt.
"At first I just thought it was just dislocated," Wilson said. "So I tried to put it back in place, we tried to put it back in place. It didn't go and then I was like 'eff it, I'm gonna go back out there and try to see if we can keep going with it.' And then threw another pass, I think I played another couple plays or whatever and then kind of just trying to figure it out cause I was trying to figure out what was going on. And that's what made it so difficult cause there was a few things. It wasn't just one. It was three things you know, three or four, really."
Wilson's injury occurred on the final play of a Seattle possession. He returned to the field for the team's next drive and had one pass attempt on a screen to tight end Colby Parkinson as the Seahawks went three-and-out again. Wilson was then replaced by Geno Smith for the rest of the game and Smith started all three games for Seattle in Wilson's absence.
Wilson had tested out trying to throw on the sidelined before the pass to Parkinson and said he could still do it. However, it was a painful action and led him to defer to Smith the rest of the way.
"I was throwing on the sidelines," Wilson said. "I could throw but it definitely, you know, you could feel it. It was definitely hurting because it was still dislocated and it wouldn't go back because of all the things that happened."
Wilson said he was initially told it would be a 6-8 week injury before he'd be able to return to action. Wilson said he was intent on beating that timeline from the beginning.
"We literally probably (went) 20 hours a day, 19 hours a day, you know," Wilson said of his training staff. "We're working on this hand just trying to break records with this thing, because it was a pretty severe injury, you know, in the sense of how many things happened. So I think that for me, my whole mindset was to cut the time in half and that's kind of what my mindset has been since the moment it happened."
Wilson had the surgical pin removed from his finger on Nov. 1 and said he threw a football for the first time between 12-16 hours afterward. The bye week timing also gave Wilson an extra week to get back up to speed and ready to return to the practice field this week for Seattle.
"I feel like it's a new beginning. It's like it's a new start, and I feel like it's time to get going again all over again," Wilson said.
Odell Beckham Jr. reaches deal with Rams:
Former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has reached a deal with the Los Angeles Rams after being linked to the Seahawks in recent days since his release by the Browns earlier this week.
Russell Wilson said he had been in communication with Beckham since his release from the Browns and that they speak often. They have worked out together over the offseason in the past and have a good relationship off the field as well. However, Beckham reportedly chose the Rams over the Packers, Seahawks, and other teams interested in signing the former Pro Bowl wide out.
"Good for him," Wilson said as the news came down during his press conference. "He'll do great. Wish him the best."
It didn't make sense for Seattle to claim Beckham off waivers along with his $7 million remaining salary. But once he cleared waivers and could be signed for far less money, the chance of adding someone of Beckham's stature became far more reasonable. However, Beckham then had choices at his disposal. And with the Seahawks at 3-5 and on the outside of the playoff hunt, other opportunities may have seemed far more interesting at the moment.
Unfortunately for Seattle, Beckham lands in their division with the Rams also having added Von Miller to their ranks ahead of the trade deadline. A difficult NFC West has gotten even more treacherous. But with Wilson, Chris Carson and Dee Eskridge all potentially returning to action this week, the Seahawks are bolstering their ranks as well.
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 25: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks participates in warmups prior to a game against the New Orleans Saints at Lumen Field on October 25, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)