Seahawks won’t have Marshawn Lynch for regular-season finale; Michael Bennett’s status unknown
RENTON – Marshawn Lynch’s return will have to wait at least another week.
And if there is any good news with the running back’s continued absence, it’s that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll believes it will only be another week.
Carroll said Wednesday that Lynch is not ready to resume practicing, which means he won’t play Sunday in Seattle’s regular-season finale against Arizona. But based on where Lynch is at in his rehabilitation from abdominal surgery, Carroll said there’s a good chance that he’ll will be available for Seattle’s first playoff game. Carroll didn’t commit to that, however.
“I would think he can make it back. That’s what we hear,” Carroll said in reference to Seattle’s wild-card game, which will be either Jan. 9 or 10. “It’s really up to that day-to-day kind of progression that he’s making. There’s a lot of days between next week starting up. We’ll see what happens with that.”
Lynch hasn’t played since Nov. 15 and had surgery 10 days later for an issue related to a sports hernia. He has been rehabbing for the last two weeks with trainers at a San Francisco gym. Carroll said Monday that Lynch had a chance to resume practicing this week and that his clearance to do so would depend on a pair of training sessions, to which his body apparently did not respond as well as hoped.
“There’s still some discomfort for him,” Carroll said. “He’s trying to establish the consistency in coming back the next day and showing that he can get back out there, which he’s doing. But still he’s not quite over the hump yet.”
And so the Seahawks will be without Lynch for at least another week, leaving Christine Michael and Bryce Brown to share the backfield workload on Sunday against Arizona with Fred Jackson remaining in the third-down role he’s handled all season.
One uncertainty is the likelihood of Lynch playing immediately upon his return to practice considering how the Seahawks have taken it slow with other players coming back from injuries. Cornerback Jeremy Lane and wide receiver Paul Richardson, for instance, began the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list and practiced for several weeks before playing.
How much time would Lynch need?
“We need to see. We need to see what he looks like,” Carroll said. “Let’s just wait on that and not try to call it ahead of time. He’s an unusual player, he knows football, he gets the game, he’s really an astute learner, he’s not a young guy trying to figure this out who we’re uncertain about. If a guy could do it, he could do it.”
Bennett’s status up in the air
Carroll said the Seahawks won’t know until later in the week whether or not defensive lineman Michael Bennett will be able to play Sunday. That depends on how he responds to treatment he recently received for his lingering toe injury.
Carroll said it was a non-surgical procedure that involved an injection. It took place somewhere out of town.
“It could be one where we need to hold him out,” Carroll said about Sunday’s game. “We don’t know that yet.”
Okung on the mend, Chancellor still out
Carroll said left tackle Russell Okung took part in Wednesday morning’s walk-through, “so he’s on his way back.” Okung missed Sunday’s game due to a calf strain that he sustained against Cleveland and didn’t practice last week.
Strong safety Kam Chancellor, who has missed the last two games and most of a third with a bruised tailbone, is not as far along in his recovery. He didn’t take part in the walk-through.
• Carroll said TE Luke Willson has made progress in his recovery from a concussion that he sustained Sunday but that his status is still unknown. “He’s still going through the concussion protocol and we’ll have to wait and see,” Carroll said.