With Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson questionable for Week 6, Seattle’s backup quarterback may have to start versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Before the Russell Wilson era, the Seahawks never had a franchise quarterback to take the franchise through to the promised land of NFL playoffs.
Wilson chose to stay in Seattle amid rumors of a departure, but it looks like the elite NFL quarterback may be out of the lineup at the moment due to a gruesome finger sprain suffered agains the Rams.
With Wilson out, backup quarterback Geno Smith stepped in. If the name sounds familiar, it should be: Smith has been in the NFL almost as long as Wilson, with an expansive career that spans four different NFL teams.
Russell Wilson backup Geno Smith enters Week 6 the likely starter
Drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Smith is part of a long line of Jets quarterbacks who struggle to thrive in New York. Two inconsistent seasons were followed by two injury-plagued ones, and Smith left the Jets for New York’s other football team, the New York Giants.
Smith made headlines when he started over Eli Manning in 2017, ending a 210-game streak of Manning starts. Smith made history in that moment as the first Black quarterback to start for the Giants, who were the last NFL team to start a Black quarterback.
Manning’s production had faltered and he was nearing an eventual 2019 retirement, yet Manning replaced Smith after just one start. Smith and former coach Ben McAdoo believed that Smith should have remained the starter over Manning. Smith then signed on with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2018.
After his one-year contract ended with the Chargers, Smith journeyed up to Seattle to compete for the backup quarterback job with the Seahawks. Smith won the job over former Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch, and he has sat behind Wilson ever since.
When the Seahawks explored the idea of signing Colin Kaepernick as a backup quarterback in 2020, they eventually decided against it due to their rostering of Smith in the position.
With Wilson a healthy starter for the past two years, Smith has only played in one game as a Seahawk — during a 40-3 blowout in a revenge game against Smith’s former Jets.
“If Geno is going to play for us some as Russ comes back, you know, he showed that we’re in good hands,” Carroll said after Smith’s Week 6 performance. “I went right to Geno afterwards and said, you been waiting a long time for your opportunity. The faith you’ve shown in our program and us to stay with us, so proud that when he got in there, he did great.”
“He really looked good. He’s been working for that. He’s a talented football player. He knows our system.”
A former NFL starter in his seventh season, Smith is not Russell Wilson — but he’s earned the backup quarterback job behind him, which is a critical position for situations precisely like their current predicament.