RB Marshawn Lynch was downgraded to questionable on the Seahawks’ injury report Friday, but coach Pete Carroll inidcated nothing but caution created the change. The good news for Seattle ahead of the playoff game with the Vikings Sunday was that every injured player has returned but TE Luke Willson, who still is feeling effects from a concussion.
“We got to go (Saturday) and make sure Marshawn is OK — same old thing,” Carroll said after practice Friday. “We just want to see how he’s taking to the week’s work. He looked good during the week and did some really good stuff. But we’ll just use all of the time that we have available.
“I have not said yet that he’s playing. I know that’s been out there, but I don’t know until we finish the week. He’s looked really good. He’s taken every route that we needed him to this week.”
The coaches have created the expectation that if he plays, he will start. Otherwise, Christine Michael will get the call.
Apparently Lynch has lost a bit of weight.
“As a matter of fact he is (leaner),” Carroll said. “He does look really good. He’s really trim, and that’s a sign of hard work, and being really tuned into it.”
Of Willson, who sat out the Arizona game after being hurt against St. Louis Dec. 27, Carroll said, “He just didn’t quite get through (the concussion protocol). He did some of the work, he practiced with us, and then he just didn’t quite recover. So we’re going to take care of him.”
With Willson out, the tight end duties will again go to Cooper Helfet and newcomer Chase Coffman, who made his Seattle debut in the regular season finale against the Cardinals and had four catches, one for a touchdown.
Coffman “did a good job at the line of scrimmage, and catching the ball,” Carroll said. “We’re fortunate that he’s emerged so quickly for us.”
The offense will be bolstered by the returns of LT Russell Okung and RG J.R. Sweezy, and the defense gets back SS Kam Chancellor.
“He looked really good, and he finished the week great — the first time in over a month or something,” Carroll said. “It seems he’s really excited about being back. You can feel it. That’s a great addition for us.”
Carroll’s a fan of Holmgren’s return as coach
The departure of Tom Coughlin, 69, from the New York Giants means Carroll is the NFL’s oldest coach. So he’s a big fan of the return of Mike Holmgren, 67, who said he’d be interested in filling the 49ers coaching vacancy.
“I was asked that one other time, and all I can tell you is that I’ve been actively promoting Mike Holmgren to get a head coaching job,” said Carroll, 64, grinning. “I think that would be really in the best interest of the league if somebody would take Mike. He’s done a great job in the past.
Of his own situation, he said, “I don’t know. It’s like wearing a jersey with 64 on it.”
Holmgren said on his KJR radio show Thursday that the 49ers have not called.