In perhaps the greatest feat of heroism since Bellerophon tamed the winged stallion Pegasus, Russell Wilson returned to quarterback the Seattle Seahawks today.
Wilson hurt his finger on Oct. 7 in a Thursday night game, getting surgery the next day. The hand surgeon who performed the operation, Steven Shin, was optimistic afterward, offering commentary both on the state of Wilson’s hand and the quality of Wilson’s play: “Based on what I saw today, I am fully confident Russell will return to the NFL this season and play at the same world-class level that fans have come to expect of one of the game's very best quarterbacks.”
The Seahawks placed him on IR the next week, but by Oct. 23 the NFL’s official media outlet was explicitly saying there was “a shot” for a quick return in Week 10. Hey, that’s this week! By Halloween the legend was spreading, with Pete Carroll saying Wilson’s finger was healing “tremendously.” He got the pin out the next day. By Nov. 8, Wilson returned to practice, complete with a 40-second hype video. Carroll called it “a remarkable story of recovery … he's way, way ahead of schedule.” Wilson said he was originally told the timetable for his recovery was six to eight weeks. He simply would not accept that. On Nov. 11, he said his finger “feels pretty dang close” to 100 percent. Perhaps Wilson is more like Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine.
Obviously people are going to tell stories about a hero like this, especially when Wilson himself shares these details: “We probably spent 19 or 20 hours a day working on this hand, trying to break records with this thing.” This morning, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport explained “how this was possible”: Wilson has a machine that allows him to stop time. Ha ha, just a little joke there, folks! Rapoport actually said this: “What he was doing for 19 hours a day, is working out his finger. Moving it, trying to get the scar tissue out, making sure that it was in constant motion to make sure that finger was as healthy and as viable as possible.” For 19 hours! Meanwhile, Jason La Canfora had a source explain to him just how incredible this all was:
As one source close to the quarterback put it, Wilson applied a decidedly old school approach his recovery, coupled with a resilient attitude and spirit: "Great doctor, dedicated therapy, talented assistance, conviction and faith," as he put it. "To do what he did in four weeks defied logic. Borderline miracle."
On Oct. 8, Russell Wilson had surgery on his finger. He was told it would take between six and eight weeks to recover. Today, Nov. 14, after sleeping just five hours a day to rehab, Wilson returned to action a mere five weeks later. He was told six. Incredible.
The Seahawks lost to the Green Bay Packers today, 17–0. Wilson went 20-for-40 for 161 yards and two interceptions. His passer rating was 39.7. Had all 40 of his attempts hit the turf, his passer rating would've been 39.6.