BY SPNW Staff 04:58PM 01/15/2016

Carroll: Lynch is a go for the Seahawks Sunday

Unless there is some bizarre development between now and Sunday, Marshawn Lynch is expected to start for the Seahawks when they face the Carolina Panthers.

Marshawn Lynch is on track to start Sunday against Carolina. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

Unless there is a setback between now and Sunday’s 10 a.m., PT kickoff, Marshawn Lynch will start for the Seahawks when they face the 15-1 Carolina Panthers in an NFC divisional playoff game at Bank of America Stadium. Unlike last week, when Lynch suddenly bailed just as the Seahawks were about to depart for Minnesota, Lynch Friday accompanied the team to Charlotte.

“He packed his bags and he’s with us,” coach Pete Carroll said before buses  departed the team’s facility in Renton. “There is a really good chance he’ll go Sunday. He had a really great week, he really did. He was more explosive this week than last. You can see that he made improvement.”

If Lynch plays against the Panthers, it will mark his first game action since Nov. 15 when he rushed for 42 yards on eight carries against Arizona. Lynch underwent abdominal surgery Nov. 25 in Philadelphia and has spent most of his time since rehabbing in San Francisco.

Carroll thought Lynch might be able to play Sunday against the Vikings in Minnesota, but Lynch wasn’t ready and stayed home as the Seahawks eked out a 10-9 victory.

“We’ll see how he responds one more time (Saturday) and make sure that everything is okay,” said Carroll. “But all indications are that he is in good shape to go.”

Carroll said that the added week of rest/rehab made a significant difference in Lynch’s readiness for the Panthers, the NFC’s No. 1 seed. He is officially listed as probable.

“He’s really pumped to play football and play with his team,” said Carroll. “So I’m looking forward to him playing like he has in the past. We’ll make sure and watch and see how he’s doing and how much we can play him. We’ll figure that out as the game goes along.”

Lynch played in seven games prior to his injury, rushing for 417 yards on 111 carries with three touchdowns. In the game against Carolina Oct. 18, Lynch ran for 54 yards on 17 carries and scored on a one-yard run.

The Panthers are a 2½-point choice. They defeated Seattle 27-23 in Week 6 at CenturyLink Field with quarterback Cam Newton directing two fourth-quarter scoring drives after Seattle mounted a 23-14 lead.

Carroll also said that TE Luke Willson is likely to return after suffering a concussion, but that FB Will Tukaufu is doubtful with a hamstring. Otherwise, Carroll said, the Seahawks are as healthy as they have been in a long time.

“It’s an awesome sign for us,” Carroll said. “We’re ready to go crank it up with all hands on deck. So it’s exciting.”


  • 1coolguy

    “Lynch played in seven games prior to his injury, rushing for 417 yards on 111 carries with three touchdowns. In the game against Carolina Oct. 18, Lynch ran for 54 yards on 17 carries and scored on a one-yard run.”

    Let’s remember Lynch’ games were the early ones where the OL totally sucked and was ranked anywhere from 30th to 32nd.
    The OL has improved greatly since and between it and RW’s passing game, Lynch should see holes he never did in those games he did play.
    As he hasn’t played, Lynch has fresh legs which will be even more exciting.

    • DJ

      You got it – I couldn’t agree more. It’s a whole different team than what Marshawn has played with before, playing well, so it should be a real treat for him, and for them to show off for their great back.
      Can’t forget the defense – got the right side of the secondary solidified – way different than what the Panthers were able to exploit before.
      All in all – going to be a heck of a game – Go Hawks!

      • 1coolguy

        DJ from Laurelhurst or Wedgwood?
        ML will be the Beast and the Panthers will have to pay attention to him. He is a good receiver and blocker, in addition to his running, so he expands the game greatly.

        • DJ

          Albuquerque – currently
          Oh, yeah. You took the words out of my mouth. He’s by far the best receiving back we have. It’s going to be such a difference. Having Willson back as well, our offense has a full tool chest

  • Jeff Shope

    nice first line bizarre and Lynch go hand in hand so until he actually plays I’m not counting on him And Hawks 8-2 without him and his drama

    • eYeDEF

      I love Marshawn drama because it wins Super Bowls.

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