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Michael Robinson set for return to Seahawks’ backfield


By Alex Bigelow
Special to staff

Michael Robinson sat on his couch in Arizona watching every snap the Seahawks took.

He was no longer lead-blocking for Marshawn Lynch. Instead, he was training twice a day in preparation for a return to football and honing his broadcasting skills in case the right situation didn’t present itself.

But two months after being released by the Seahawks amid concerns over an illness that caused the 245-pound fullback to lose nearly 30 pounds, Robinson signed with the team earlier this week and is set to return Monday night against the Rams.

“I am itching for that first hit,” Robinson said Wednesday from the set of “Seahawks Weekly” on 710 ESPN Seattle.

Hitting isn’t the only thing Robinson has grown to miss, though.

“I miss right before you go out there on the football field, after your warmups and right before you are really about to go out and play, just that vibe, that fun, that excitement, that electricity in that locker room,” he said. “It is so electric on gameday, and it doesn’t matter where we are.”

The Seahawks haven’t necessarily struggled running the ball in Robinson’s absence, but the total rushing yards might be a bit misleading given the frequency quarterback Russell Wilson has been forced to break the pocket and scramble.

Entering Week 8, Seattle ranks second in the NFL in rushing with 1,081 yards. Lynch leads the Seahawks with 578 yards on 138 carries, and through seven games, Wilson leads all NFL quarterbacks with 323 yards on 58 carries. In comparison, through seven games last season, Wilson rushed the ball only 42 times for 262 yards.

Nevertheless, the Seahawks’ 34-22 Week 7 win over Arizona had Robinson excited for what is to come from Seattle’s rushing attack, and specifically Lynch.

“I saw that he was willing to take the game to a place – and all the Seahawks – they were willing to take the game to a place that the Arizona Cardinals just weren’t willing to match, they weren’t willing to go there,” Robinson said. “Especially in the fourth quarter, Marshawn just beat ’em up. That is what you want to do. … That is playoff football.”

Lynch only finished the game with 91 rushing yards, but 78 of those came after contact. And while the offensive line has been in flux for much of the season with the losses of tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini, center Max Unger told “Seahawks Weekly” about the recent improvement of the much-scrutinized unit.

“Our standards don’t really change as far as what we want to accomplish with whoever happens to be starting,” Unger said. “I thought we played OK. … (We) ran the ball pretty well. We got to keep Russell a little cleaner, but other than that, it’s coming together.”

Bringing Robinson back against St. Louis might prove to be a nice welcome back, as the Rams’ rushing defense currently ranks 30th in the NFL, allowing 126.4 yard per game and seven touchdowns.

And make no mistake, Robinson plans on playing Monday.

“I got fresh legs,” he said. “I’ve been in shape. I understand what time it is in the league. It is midseason. Guys are in midseason form. I feel like because I do have fresh legs, I might have a small advantage.”