Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer saw his collection of running backs fall apart due to injuries last December.
Over the course of three weeks, the Seahawks lost Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and C.J. Prosise for rest of the season due to significant injuries. Carson suffered a fractured hip and Prosise broke his forearm in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals while Penny tore his ACL in a loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Rookie Travis Homer became Seattle’s lead running back with Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin both coming back to the team after not playing anywhere else all season to lend a hand into the playoffs.
Carson and Penny are both trying to work back from their injuries for the start of next season. Head coach Pete Carroll has indicated full optimism in Carson’s trajectory while also acknowledging that Penny was likely to begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
Schottenheimer believes that both Carson and Penny will rebound from their injuries successfully.
“I feel really good about both of those guys coming back,” Schottenheimer said in an interview with Sports Radio 950 KJR. “Obviously, they both had significant injuries. Chris has been through some injuries before. I think it was his rookie year before I got here he had the leg fracture. I think he’ll be great. It sounds like they’re doing well when we get our updates from those guys. Rashaad (is) a guy that really hasn’t had to deal with that adversity before but I think that we really saw him mature last year. He was really playing terrific football for us. We saw a difference with just the way he practiced, the way he prepared. Nobody wants to see their players get injured but the injury happened at a time where he was really kind of peaking and feeling great about himself and maturing as a young man and as a football player and I think that’s just going to lead into him having a terrific rehab as well.
Carson rushed for 1,230 yards and seven touchdowns in his 15 games for Seattle before his injury. Penny was clearly in a secondary role for most of the season but had put together two strong showings in a row before the knee injury ended his year. Penny had rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles and had 74 yards and a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings in his last two full games.
With two backs returning from significant injuries, the Seahawks may have to supplement the position in the upcoming NFL Draft. Prosise, Lynch and Turbin are all currently free agents. Schottenheimer spoke highly of Homer’s play and was enthusiastic about Lynch’s contribution in his short yardage role after joining the team last year. However, more depth would be advisable entering camp.
Nevertheless, Schottenheimer is happy with the group he already has in place.
“It’s a good group,” he said. “We’ll see where those guys come back when we actually come back and have a chance to be together with them but my money is on both those guys to bounce back from those injuries.”