Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin is confident rookie running back Thomas Rawls will be able to step in and step up for the team after the injury to starting back Marshawn Lynch.
Rawls had to play in his first NFL game last weekend against the Chicago Bears due to the calf injury Lynch had suffered entering the game, and then he played the second half because the five-time Pro Bowler was unable to continue due to a hamstring injury.
The rookie stepped in and played well, achieving 104 yards from 16 carries, and helping the Seahawks win 26-0 against the NFC North side.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
Baldwin said it wasn't just down to luck that he got the carries, he says the running back had been working hard all offseason and has earned the opportunity to shine.
He said to reporters yesterday, according to Pro Football Talk: "That kid has been busting his tail since the beginning of camp, even in OTAs. So I’m not surprised, and extremely happy for his success because he earned it.”
“He knew the playbook, and he was asking all the right questions. You always want a rookie to ask questions, but it’s a different level when they ask the right questions, so that’s what stood out to me.”
So, does Rawls have what it takes to become the next Beast Mode for the Seahawks? He's a powerful and agile runner just like the veteran. However, Baldwin doesn't think the Seahawks are done with Lynch just yet.
He said: “I think we have talent that could take the torch if we needed to. However, it would take a while, the transition would be difficult. I would just say I don’t what to see that happen anytime soon.”
Rawls is certainly looking like a promising player for the Seahawks, but Lynch's contract doesn't expire until the end of the 2017 season, so I wouldn't expect there to be any changes in the backfield until his contract expires.
Lynch is still a great player. It's just this recent injury is causing people to question if the five-time Pro Bowler can still enter Beast Mode. But he could be replaced before we even find this out if Rawls shines through his absence.