Seahawks HC Pete Carroll optimistic Geno Smith (elbow) will play Thursday vs. 49ers

Smith got crushed by Aaron Donald late in the third quarter in L.A., injuring his elbow. The starter was seen on the sidelines trying to get loose and, at times, wearing a wrap on the arm.

After backup Drew Lock led three fruitless drives, including a fourth-quarter pick that helped allow the Rams to turn a nine-point deficit into a one-point lead, Smith returned to the game for the final possession. The QB’s arm didn’t look affected on the final drive, zipping his first pass to Tyler Lockett and later finding DK Metcalf for a 21-yarder to set up a potential game-winning field goal that Jason Myers pushed wide right.

Sunday’s loss was a big blow for the Seahawks, who fell a game behind San Francisco in the NFC West. Seattle enters the gauntlet stretch of their schedule, facing the Niners on Thursday, Dallas, San Francisco again, and the Eagles over the next four games.

If the Seahawks are to remain in the division hunt during that stretch, having Smith on the field will be vital.

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