The Seattle Seahawks lost their starting quarterback briefly on Sunday afternoon, and their lead quickly followed suit.
Though Geno Smith returned for one last drive and nearly salvaged the win, the Seahawks missed a 55-yard field goal in the final seconds. That gave the Los Angeles Rams, who rallied from a nine-point hole in the second half, the 17-16 win and their second victory over the Seahawks this season.
Smith first went down in late in the third quarter, and it appeared that he'd be done for the day. Smith tried to throw the ball away before Rams defensive end Aaron Donald hit him in the pocket. Smith got rid of the ball, but Donald still drilled him and made contact with Smith’s arm on his follow-through — which sent the ball straight up and Smith crashing to the turf in pain.
Smith went into the blue medical tent on the sidelines, and was seen throwing a ball trying to warm up briefly. The Seahawks, however, sent in backup quarterback Drew Lock to replace him and initially listed Smith as questionable to return.
Smith finished 22-of-34 for 233 yards and a touchdown. He led the Seahawks to a 16-7 lead when he went down, too. He threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to DK Metcalf in the first quarter to put Seattle on the board first.
With Smith out, the Seahawks quickly fell apart. The Rams cut the game to just two points midway through the fourth quarter with a 1-yard run from Darrell Henderson. Then just three plays later, Lock threw an interception to give the Rams the ball right back.
That set up the Rams' game-winning drive. Despite Matthew Stafford leading them inside the 10 yard line, they had to settle on a 22-yard field goal to put them up by one.
Smith returned to the game for the Seahawks' final drive, however, and came so close to pulling out the win for Seattle. He got the Seahawks into field goal range, thanks largely to a deep 21-yard pass to Metcalf, but Jason Myers' kick was left short and to the right.
Stafford finished 17-of-31 for 190 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Rams. Royce Freeman led them on the ground with 73 yards on 17 carries, and Puca Nacua had 70 yards and a touchdown on five grabs. The Rams are now 5-6 this season, and the win snapped a three-game losing skid.
Zach Charbonnet had 47 yards on 15 carries for the Seahawks, and Metcalf finished with 94 yards and a touchdown on five grabs. Lock finished throwing 2-of-6 for three yards and an interception in Smith's absence.
Specifics about Smith's injury are not yet known, though it's a good sign that he returned to finish out the game and didn't seem bothered throwing the ball. The Seahawks do have a short week this week, however, and will host the San Francisco 49ers on Thanksgiving. That doesn't leave him much time to recover, which could lead to another Lock sighting on Thursday night.