RENTON, Wash. -- More than anything else, the effect on the Seahawks regarding Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers' injury is to show the team how fortunate it is that the same thing hasn’t happened to Russell Wilson.
No quarterback in the league has been under pressure more than Wilson, and he has taken way too many hits.
After getting sacked seven times in St. Louis, Wilson wasn’t sacked Sunday against Tampa Bay, but he was hit five times. Wilson was put under duress a career-high 55 percent of his dropbacks (16 of 29) against the Bucs.
He entered the game as the most pressured quarterback in the NFL at 39 percent of his dropbacks. One of the hits Sunday was helmet-to-helmet contact when Wilson was smacked by linebacker Jonathan Casillas right under the chin, resulting in a roughing the passer penalty.
Wilson was pretty sore and bruised after the game, but still relatively healthy.
“He’s banged up, but he’ll be OK,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said about Wilson. "We got out of the game with no sacks, but he got hit substantially, with a couple of penalties in there, too. But he’s a tremendous athlete to take those hits and to roll with it.”
Nevertheless, it’s playing with fire. Seattle has struggled on the offensive line because of injuries to both starting tackles and poor play at the guard spots. The Seahawks are fortunate to have Wilson still out there at this point, and the injury to Rodgers shows them how quickly that can change.
If Wilson stays healthy, Green Bay’s misfortune increases Seattle’s chances of making the playoffs, even if the Seahawks fail to win the NFC West. Seattle is 8-1 and the Packers are 5-3 and are now missing their star quarterback.
The Seahawks play four of their last six games at home. As it stands now, only two of the remaining seven games are against winning teams -- New Orleans (Monday night at Seattle on Dec. 2) and the 49ers in San Francisco the following weekend.
But Seattle is only one game ahead of the 49ers, so the division title remains a two-team battle. Luckily for the Seahawks, Wilson still is out there to help them.