The Seattle Seahawks are hopeful that running back Marshawn Lynch will be able to play this weekend against the Carolina Panthers, according to reports.
Beast Mode has been absent from the Seahawks lineup for two weeks due to a hamstring strain. While the team has been able to cope without him, he is still expected to return to the lineup this Sunday, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
While Lynch has been spending time on the sidelines, rookie running back Thomas Rawls has been shining, racking up 321 yards and a single touchdown since Lynch was a partial participant against the Chicago Bears.
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Rawls ran for 169 yards in Sunday’s 27-24 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals. This is the most rushing yards a Seahawks running back has had in a single game since Shaun Alexander had 201 yards against the Green Bay Packers in 2006.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said: "Normally, Marshawn comes in and out pretty regularly, so we’ll just pump [Rawls] in there and see how many carries that amounts to. Usually it’s about eight or 10 carries on a regular game. We’ll see how that goes. …
“We’re going to feel real comfortable about him in the two spot, coming in off the bench. There’s no reason for him not to play, he’s done a great job for us, and I would say he’s probably exceeded our expectations at this point.’’
Ultimately, the Seahawks should be able to cope without Lynch for one more week if he isn't able to play before they get into any trouble involving the playoffs. That's even with an offensive line that has been absolutely terrible this season and is on the road to allowing quarterback Russell Wilson to be sacked 70 times or more this year.
However, Rawls' performances could also be a sign that the team can survive without Beast Mode completely in the future.