Russell Wilson injury history: Every ailment Steelers' new QB has had

Russell Wilson steps in as Pittsburgh's new starting quarterback. How likely is it for him to start all 17 games?
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout
Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Offseason Workout / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

Russell Wilson has played in 188 NFL games in his 12-year career. He hasn't had to miss much time due to injury, which is good news for Pittsburgh Steelers fans.

However, the anticipation to see Justin Fields during the 2024 regular season might spark the question among the fanbase of how likely it is that Wilson misses any time. While no one wants to see an injury to any position, let alone at quarterback, it is a legitimate storyline to follow throughout the season.

Still, Wilson has missed a handful of games, and playing at the back half of 35 years old, Wilson has worn the tread on his tires.

Russell Wilson injury history

Taking a look at Wilson's injury history, the list is short, but notable.

The first two happened in 2016, his fifth year in the league. Wilson first suffered a Grade 3 high ankle sprain before suffering a Grade 2 MCL sprain. While the ankle sprain lingered throughout the season, Wilson didn't miss any time with the injuries.

Wilson didn't suffer another significant injury until 2021 when he fractured the middle finger on his throwing hand. The injury happened in a Week 5 loss to the Los Angeles Rams and landed Wilson on injured reserve. He returned off of IR in Week 10 against Green Bay, which resulted in a shutout loss. Wilson did finish the season strong, tossing 15 touchdowns to just three interceptions in the final eight games.

In his first season with the Denver Broncos in 2022, Wilson suffered three total injuries: a non-specific shoulder injury, a partial hamstring tear, and a Grade 1 concussion.

The shoulder injury didn't force him to miss any time. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his shoulder a few days later and played the following week, throwing two interceptions in a 12-9 loss to Indianapolis.

The hamstring tear was reported as partially torn and forced him to miss the following week against the New York Jets. He returned the following week against Jacksonville to help the Broncos grab the third of four wins in the 2022 season.

Naturally, the concussion he suffered against Kansas City in Week 14 forced him to miss the following week against Arizona. On his return, the Broncos were handed a 51-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, aided by three interceptions from Wilson.

It's worth noting that in 2022, Wilson was sacked a career-high 55 times (10% of his pass attempts) despite missing two games.

The most recent injury was a mild knee sprain that aggravated him for a few seasons. When this injury first cropped up isn't specific, but he had it scoped during the offseason ahead of the 2023 season and never missed any games because of it.

Wilson's injury history accounts for just four of the six games he's been inactive for in his career. Of course, Denver benched Wilson near the end of the 2023 season, forcing him to sit for the final two games of the year, which ultimately led to him landing in Pittsburgh.

Injuries have piled up more in recent seasons, which could be a slight cause for concern as Wilson gets deeper into his playing career. Still, Wilson has played smart as a scrambling quarterback and has done a great job at protecting himself on the field.

Hopefully, an offense dedicated to the rushing attack will keep Wilson off of the injury report. The best-case scenario for Steelers fans to see Fields in action will be on designed packages anyway. Two healthy quarterbacks are better than one, after all.