Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson: Close to 100% after beating timetable for return from injury

RENTON (Wash.) -- Russell Wilson suffered the most serious injury of his career. The toughest game for him to watch was the one he missed. Wilson wanted to surpass Brett Favre's NFL record 297 consecutive starts. However, his streak of 149 consecutive starts ended a week after he injured his throwing hand.
Wilson's consolation prize: Wilson easily beat the time frame for his return.

Wilson was told initially that he would most likely be out for 6-8 weeks.

He said, "I wasn’t going to take 6-8," in his first remarks to reporters since the injury. "That was not in my mind."

Wilson wanted to reduce that time by half. He returned to practice on Monday, exactly one month after his surgery. He is expected to play Sunday at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers, where the Seahawks (3-5) will attempt to win their first game since 1999.

Wilson stated, "I have been blessed to be allowed to play all of the games I've ever been able and all the things that I've done so far in this league." It's a fresh start, a new beginning and it feels like I'm ready to go again.

Coach Pete Carroll stated Wednesday that Wilson's return to practice isn't restricted, which is another indication that Wilson will likely play Sunday. Wilson stated that he felt his finger in practice on Monday, and had to "get over" it. However, he said that the finger now feels strong enough to throw all the throws again, even though it isn't quite normal.

He said, "I feel great." "I feel very close. Although I am not 100%, I feel pretty close. If not higher, I would rate 90th percentile. I feel great. I feel great about my actions and how they are being done. My mental outlook is stronger than ever. "I'm ready to roll, and I'm ready for anything."

Wilson sustained injuries when he smashed his hand into Aaron Donald during a follow-through. This happened in the third quarter in Seattle's loss against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 5 He said that he suffered a tendon tear (mallet finger), dislocation, and two fractures.

The next day, Dr. Steve Shin operated on Wilson's finger. He called it the worst injury he had ever seen to an NFL quarterback's throwing hand. The procedure involved the insertion a metal pin.

Wilson stated that he received four to five opinions on everything and knew Dr. Shin was the best. That's why he was the place he wanted to take me to. He had a plan, and he gave me it. I agreed to do it. I then prayed about it. The next thing I knew, I was awake and feeling like I had a new finger. My finger was straight. It was straight and not crooked or going left and right.

Wilson believed that his finger had been dislocated at the time. Wilson tried to play through the pain but it wouldn't come back in place at the sideline. He returned to the game after the injury and only came back for one series. Geno Smith played the last quarter and began the next three games.

Wilson stated, "I've seen some things before." Wilson said, "I was always willing to... Geno was always there to help me. Geno is a great friend and leader. I believe in him. He's a great player. It was obvious to me that we need the best chance possible right now. That was my thought process.

The Seahawks lost to the Rams, and Smith's first two starts -- in Pittsburgh and New Orleans -- before beating Jacksonville. They had the chance to tie the game in regulation, overtime or both.

Wilson stated that he used to work on his hand for 19-20 hours per day in an effort to "break records" when he returned. He did this with the help Amy Atmore, his physical therapist. Wilson said that he was surrounded by the "best people in the world", which helped him return to work sooner than expected.

Carroll stated that Wilson's hand would take a few days to heal after the pin was removed. He was still throwing 24 hours later than the pin was removed on Nov. 1. Seattle was entering its bye week.

He said, "We never stopped working." "I was always lifting. I was always moving. I was always running. My mind was always ready. I visualized every rep, every defender and where people would be.

Wilson did mental work by running mock 2-minute drives prior to the games he missed. He pretended to call and change plays at line of Scrimmage, roll out and throw without a ball as the he worked his way up the field.

He said, "That was a huge part for me because it was something that I believed in, regardless of the circumstances, no matter how difficult, to be great at any task, no matter how hard it is, to be great at whatever you do." I think that many people don't choose to do this because it's easier than the hard way. It might not be the most exciting thing, or it might not be all that great. If you love winning and the whole process, you will do anything. The process is what I love."

Wilson threw his first pin with a glove in his right hand. Wilson hasn't used a glove since, but he said that he might need one Sunday depending upon the weather in Green Bay. The forecast is for temperatures in the 30s.

He said, "Hand feels great. It feels strong." "... "... I'm available to play and help you win.