Seahawks’ options at running back with Thomas Rawls out, Marshawn Lynch still sidelined

Dec 13, 2015, 6:45 PM | Updated: 6:49 pm
DuJuan Harris is the Seahawks’ leading in-house candidate to be their primary ball-carrier. (...
DuJuan Harris is the Seahawks' leading in-house candidate to be their primary ball-carrier. (AP)
(AP)

Thomas Rawls is done for the season after breaking his ankle Sunday and Marshawn Lynch is still recovering from abdominal surgery with no exact timetable on when he might be back.

What will the Seahawks do at running back in the meantime?

DuJuan Harris is the leading in-house candidate to take over as the starter even though Fred Jackson is more experienced and accomplished. Seattle would presumably prefer to keep the 34-year-old Jackson in the third-down role as opposed to making him the primary ball-carrier.

Harris was signed to Seattle’s practice squad last month then promoted to the active roster before last week’s game against Minnesota. He finished with 42 yards on 18 carries after taking over for Rawls on Sunday. Coach Pete Carroll said he stuck with Harris after an early fumble “knowing that we’re going to need him.”

Fullback Derrick Coleman can also carry the ball – he gained 19 yards on his only attempt Sunday – but Carroll’s comments suggested that Seattle might add a running back.

The only running back on Seattle’s practice squad is a fullback, Brandon Cottom, so any addition would be a street free agent or someone from another team’s practice squad.

Bryce Brown is one possibility. He’s a free agent, having been released by Seattle last month after his second stint with the team this season. Brown was inactive for the two games he spent on the Seahawks’ roster.

Christine Michael is on Washington’s practice squad, which means the Seahawks or any other team could sign him to their active roster. He has an abundance of talent and plenty of familiarity with Seattle’s offense having spent his first two years and a third offseason with the team, but considering how little he produced in that time as well as some indicting comments from the team after his trade to Dallas, that ship may have sailed. It could be telling that two teams have already moved on from Michael this season – Dallas did so not long after giving up a draft pick to acquire him from Seattle – and then no team clamed Michael once he was waived by the Cowboys.

Former 49er Kendall Hunter is another option. The Seahawks reportedly worked him out last month. He’s 27 years old and hasn’t appeared in a regular-season game since 2013.

Former Seahawks Robert Turbin and Rod Smith are on Dallas’ active roster, so they are not available.

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