All week long, it sounded as if running back Marshawn Lynch would return to action after missing seven games following surgery to repair a core muscle issue. Intended obfuscation or not, Lynch won’t be playing on Sunday at Minnesota.
Lynch has been downgraded from questionable to out. Per the team, Lynch said just before the flight to Minnesota that he doesn’t believe he’s ready to play.
Meeting with reporters on Friday, coach Pete Carroll dropped a hint or two as to what was coming. Even then, it seemed as if Lynch would be back.
“We just want to see how he’s taking to the week’s work and all of that,” Carroll said, in explaining that Lynch would be a 50-50 proposition. “He looked good during the week and did some really good stuff, but we’ll just use all of the time that we have available. I have not said yet that he’s playing, I know that’s been out there, but I don’t know until we finish the week. He’s looked really good, and we’re hoping so. Very optimistic about [it].”
Christine Michael likely will get the start for Lynch, and for good reason. Michael, a second-round pick on whom the Seahawks’ gave up earlier in the season, rushed for more than 100 yards during a Week 17 blowout of the Cardinals.
It’s impossible not to wonder whether other issues are at play here, especially since offensive line coach Tom Cable opted to declare publicly last month that Lynch must be ready to adapt to the team’s new offense, one in which quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 24 touchdown passes and only one interception in the games Lynch missed.
If/when the Vikings once again prevail in Minnesota absent Marshawn, the Seahawks will move another step closer toward life without Lynch. Given his $9 million salary for 2016, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be back in Seattle. At this point, it’s up in the air as to whether Lynch will ever wear a Seahawks uniform again.