With Christine Michael questionable, Seahawks may lean on C.J. Prosise vs Patriots

Nov 11, 2016, 4:06 PM
A hamstring injury landed Christine Michael on the injury report for the first time all week Friday...
A hamstring injury landed Christine Michael on the injury report for the first time all week Friday. (AP)

RENTON – Rookie C.J. Prosise could be in line for a busy night Sunday in New England.

The Seahawks made Christine Michael a late addition to their final injury report of the week, listing him as questionable for their showdown with the Patriots due to what the team is calling a hamstring injury. The timing was curious as Michael hadn’t been on Seattle’s injury report at all this week before being listed as limited on Friday, and his addition came after coach Pete Carroll spoke with the media for the final time before the team took off for New England.

Even before that, signs pointed to a possible workload shift in Seattle’s backfield. Prosise played 26 snaps Monday night to Michael’s 18. He was the Seahawks’ running back for much of the second half against Buffalo, including late in the fourth quarter as Seattle was trying to run out the clock. Carroll later said that it was a coach’s decision to go with Prosise over Michael, as opposed to being health-related.

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Michael scored on a 3-yard run for Seattle’s third touchdown of the game but either went backwards or gained nothing on his other four carries. Prosise carried three times for nine yards and had a 6-yard catch. A week earlier in New Orleans, Prosise carried four times for 23 yards and caught four passes for 80 yards. That was his second game back from a wrist injury that had sidelined him since the season opener.

Seattle drafted Prosise in the third round with the thought that he would immediately step into a third-down role. Now – with Michael hurt and his production waning plus Thomas Rawls at least another week away from returning – the Seahawks may have to lean on Prosise Sunday night to steer their running game out of its season-long ditch.

“He fits really well,” Carroll said Friday when asked about what Prosise has shown the last few weeks. “He’s a really versatile athlete that we’re just trying to grow with and figure out where he fits and what we can do with him and kind of find a role that suits him. There’s not many restrictions here. He’s big and he’s fast and he can catch and he can run, he runs nice routes and all that, he blocks well when he’s had his chances, he’s been aggressive with his pass protection. So it’s just all positives and we’ll just continue to work with him and see how we can fit him in and make him a factor for us.

“Just as we had hoped for in the drafting process that he could be versatile and do these things, he looks the part. So we’re really excited about that and just hope he can contribute in a bigger way as we move on through the schedule here.”

Rookie Alex Collins is the other tailback on Seattle’s active roster. The team signed Troymaine Pope to its practice squad last week and this week brought back George Farmer.

In addition to Michael, the Seahawks listed left tackle Bradley Sowell and tight end Luke Willson as questionable for Sunday night’s game. Both players are coming off knee injuries. Willson’s required surgery and has kept him out of the last three games while Sowell has missed the last two with a sprained MCL. Carroll wouldn’t say if rookie George Fant would make his third straight start at left tackle in the event that Sowell can’t play.

Sowell was listed as a full participant in all three practices this week. Willson was listed as limited Wednesday and a full participant the next two days.

“He did really well,” Carroll said of Willson. “He made it through, practiced every day this week and finished well today. So he’s in position to play this weekend.”

The Seahawks will welcome back strong safety Kam Chancellor, who missed the last four games with a groin injury. Carroll said he looked “great” while practicing without limitation all week.

Rawls returned to practice this week for the first time since cracking a bone in his fibula in the second game of the season. He’s been ruled out for Sunday night’s game. Carroll is hopeful he’ll be ready to play the following week, but he wouldn’t commit to that.

“He looked really fast and confident making his breaks and moves and he practiced throughout the week,” Carroll said. “It was a really good week for Thomas coming back. You couldn’t see anything that was bothering him at all. So it was really, really positive.”

Carroll said defensive end Michael Bennett’s recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery has been going according to plan. The last timetable Carroll gave suggested that Bennett could be back for Seattle’s game at Tampa Bay on Nov. 27.

“Everything’s going really well,” Carroll said. “Mike’s already on the equipment, running on the treadmill and doing some stuff already. So he’s off to a great start in his rehab, so everybody sounds really positive about that. It’s another week of work to find out how fast he’s coming back, but he’s doing really well.”


• DE Michael Bennett (knee)
• RB Thomas Rawls (fibula)


• RB Christine Michael (hamstring)
• LT Bradley Sowell (knee)
• TE Luke Willson (knee)
• CB DeAndre Elliott (hamstring)

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With Christine Michael questionable, Seahawks may lean on C.J. Prosise vs Patriots