Playing their first game after the sporting lockdown – which they went into on the back of a three-match losing streak – the Owls were punished for spurning several good chances at a behind-closed-doors Hillsborough when Joe Lolley broke clear to score for Forest on 69 minutes.
But, deep into added time, Connor Wickham headed in Alessio Da Cruz’s late corner to secure a deserved equaliser for the hosts.
Owls manager Garry Monk made seven changes to the Owls team which last played – three months previously – in the 5-0 defeat at Brentford.
There was a rare start for goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith, who last started a league game back in April 2018.
The 24-year-old’s only first-team outing this season came in the FA Cup defeat to Manchester City.
But there was no place in the match-day squad for Fernando Forestieri, while top scorer Steven Fletcher, captain Tom Lees and Adam Reach were named on the bench.
Striker Jordan Rhodes did start, maybe with memories of the City Ground in Monk’s mind, when he netted a first-half hat-trick six months ago.
Unfortunately, they were the only goals the club record signing has netted all season.
He had a good chance to make it four for the campaign, midway through the first half, but was denied by Forest goalkeeper Samba after being slipped in by Barry Bannan.
The closest Wednesday came to a goal threat before that came on 14 minutes, when Kadeem Harris pinched the ball, to set Massimo Luongo free, but his shot from the edge of the penalty area was deflected wide.
Wednesday were dominating possession, and Wickham was thwarted with his far-post header, before Luongo fired over as the Owls searched for an opening goal.
At the other end, Lolley saw his fierce free-kick clear the crossbar and sail into an empty Kop.
The visitors had a lucky escape early in the second half. Rhodes saw his header strike the post, and Kieran Lee saw his follow-up blocked by Worrall.
But it was Forest who broke the stalemate with a quick counter-attack on 69 minutes. Matt Cash’s ball found Lolley, who raced away before tucking the ball inside Wildsmith’s right-hand post.
Fletcher was withdrawn – minutes after coming on as a substitute – with an injury, as the Owls looked to salvage something from the game and Harris had a good shout for a penalty waved away.
But they finally got their reward, Wickham heading in substitute Da Cruz’s corner late in the game.
Monk said: "I was very pleased with that performance, a lot of it was very pleasing and it was the least we deserved.
"A lot of the things we were trying to work on in the last couple of weeks, considering everything, a lot of that came out in the performance.
"The only thing that let us down today and probably understandably, from a bit of rustiness was that final third. We got into so many good situations in that final third where we used the ball really well but just didn't quite make the right decision or that final ball in wasn't quite where it needed to be.
"Other than that I thought it was a quite dominant performance against a very good side."