Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll announced today that running back Marshawn Lynch will be returning to practice this week:
Carroll on RB Marshawn Lynch: "He's ready to go." Lynch will practice Wednesday with the hope he can play Sunday. #SEAvsMIN
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 4, 2016
This was the ninth season in Lynch’s career, and the first one in which he appeared in fewer than 13 regular season games. Lynch appeared in just seven games this season, including two appearances, cut short by injury, in which he had fewer than ten carries. Surprisingly, the Seahawks went 3-4 in the games in which Lynch appeared, meaning that the team went 7-2 in games without Lynch.
Undrafted running back Thomas Rawls established himself as a surprise contributor in Lynch’s absence this season, running for a league-leading 5.6 yards per carry over 147 carries. Rawls’ season ended with a broken ankle in Seattle’s Week 14 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
Since Lynch’s 2007 entry into the league, he is fourth among all running backs in rushing yards, trailing only Chris Johnson, Frank Gore, and leader Adrian Peterson. His 9,112 yards rank 36th of all-time, just behind Ahman Green and Earl Campell. Lynch is under contract with the Seahawks for the next two seasons, or through his age-31 season.
The Seahawks play at the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday in the Wild Card Round. The Seahawks have already traveled to Minnesota this season, when Seattle blew out the Vikings, 38-7.