The Seahawks are getting ready for a Thanksgiving showdown with the 49ers, and adding to the already big challenge of playing on a short week, they are also dealing with the fact that quarterback Geno Smith is dealing with an injury that kept him out of practice Monday.
Smith left Sunday's game against the Rams after taking a helmet to the back of the arm, causing what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called a contusion on his triceps. He returned to the game late in the fourth quarter to lead the drive that set up an attempted game-winning field goal, but is not a sure thing to play this week.
Carroll expressed optimism Monday about Smith’s chances of facing the 49ers, saying, "We really think that he's got a great chance to make it back." But Smith still has to get through the week and make enough progress in his recovery for that to happen.
Smith said treatment on the injury has been "around the clock, all day and night just working on it, trying to get it to feel as good as it can."
As for how he felt on Tuesday, Smith said. "Had better days, I'm getting there."
Smith added that he is seeing progress from how he felt after the game.
"I feel a little bit better," he said. "I definitely feel a little bit better after a couple of days."
When asked if he'd play Thursday, however, Smith deferred to Carroll on that call.
"We'll see how it goes," he said. "It's up to coach."
If Smith is indeed able to play, he and the rest of the offense will be facing one of the NFL's toughest defenses, and an opponent that beat the Seahawks three times last season, including a wild card playoff game in Santa Clara. This year's version of the 49ers is currently 7-3 and leading Seattle in the NFC West standings, so the Seahawks know this is a big opportunity to improve their standing in the playoff race.
"Huge opportunity, huge opportunity," Smith said. "We're right in the thick of our division race, right in the think of our division race, and we've got a big chance in front of us. But it's also a big opponent, a tough opponent. They're a really good team, and we look forward to going up against these guys. I know the type of team we have, the type of guys we have, but it is a big game, because it's the next game. All of our games are big games, and this one is just our next one."
As for how much better the Seahawks are now compared to when they lost to the 49ers in January, Smith knows talking about that on a Tuesday won't mean much if they don't show it on Thanksgiving.
"We have to find out on Thursday night," Smith said. "That's a question we have to answer on Thursday night. That's a question we have to answer on Thursday night. I don't think anything I can say up here is going to help us in that regard, so we've just got to go out and execute."
The Seahawks and 49ers face off on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. PT. Take a look back through history at the Seahawks' matchups against the 49ers.