The Seahawks signed free agent RB Bryce Brown for a third time this season, but now it appears he’ll play for the first time after the emergency created by the losses of Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls to injury. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll confirmed the hire Monday afternoon.
“It’s a good opportunity to bring back a guy we’ve been training,” he said. “We like the work he did. Roster issues made him come and go a bit. We’re happy to get him back.”
Brown is a 5-11, 220-pounder out of Kansas State who had two stints in Seattle this season, the most most recent lasting five days before his release Nov. 27 to make room for CB Jeremy Lane.
Rawls broke his right ankle and tore ligaments Sunday on the first drive of the 35-6 win over the Ravens in Baltimore. He is done for the season, and likely will be placed on injured reserve to make room for Brown, but will not require surgery, according to Carroll.
Brown, 24, is considered a hard driver but a bit prone to fumbling as this highlight video shows from his time with the Philadelphia Eagles, who took him in the seventh round of the 2012 draft. He had five starts in two seasons (190 carries, 878 yards), then in 2014 was traded to Buffalo, where he was a teammate of current Seahawks RB Fred Jackson. He had 126 yards in 36 carries in seven games, but has not played in a regular season game since December 2014.
Carroll said Lynch will be “rehabbing off-site until he’s ready to start practicing. It’ll be best for him.”
Carroll wasn’t disclosing Lynch’s rehab whereabouts: “You’ll have to talk to him about that. Obviously we won’t have to worry about you finding out.”
Carroll would not guess as to when Lynch might play.
“He went through a big surgery, and has a lot to get through,” he said.”He has to get past that, then get into shape. It’s three weeks from surgery today, and he hasn’t been able to go yet. He has to show that he’s back. We won’t know until things start happening.”
Carroll said Jackson, 34, will stay in his limited role and Brown will have competition from DuJuan Harris, who filled in for Rawls Sunday in Baltimore and carried 18 times for 42 yards, fumbling once.
“It was good he got 18 carries, he hasn’t carried the ball that much in a long time,” Carroll said of Harris. “We haven’t had great work with him in pads and full speed. He hit stuff pretty well, got stumbled up a couple of times. He plays with a lot of energy and movement.”
The remaining schedule doesn’t create an urgency for a quick return by Lynch. The Seahawks play 3-10 Cleveland and 5-8 St. Louis at home the next two weeks before closing the regular season at Arizona Jan. 3.
The final game may provide awkwardness for both teams: If the Cardinals and Seahawks each win their next two, the game, depending on Carolina continuing to win, will have no meaning for either team because a win or loss would not alter their playoff positions. That means that both sides could rest starters.
The first playoff games are Jan. 9-10. If the Seahawks stay in their current fifth seed, they will face the NFC East winner, which at the moment is Washington, but Philadelphia and the New York Giants are still close.