Seahawks rule out Marshawn Lynch for wild-card game vs. Minnesota

Jan 8, 2016, 9:33 PM | Updated: 10:39 pm
Marshawn Lynch won’t play Sunday against Minnesota despite appearing all week like he’d...
Marshawn Lynch won't play Sunday against Minnesota despite appearing all week like he'd be available. (AP)

In a surprising turn of events, the Seahawks have ruled out running back Marshawn Lynch for Sunday’s wild-card game against Minnesota.

Lynch appeared all week to be on track to play after missing the last seven games due to an abdominal injury. Coach Pete Carroll, in fact, said in no uncertain terms that he would during an interview with KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. Carroll backed off that declaration Friday afternoon, telling reporters that the team was not ready to make a final determination about his status.

Then, Friday night, the Seahawks downgraded Lynch to out and said he didn’t even travel with the team to Minneapolis.

Lynch was listed as a full participant in all three of Seattle’s practices this week, which fueled the belief that he would play Sunday. Carroll even said Friday afternoon – after the team had listed Lynch as questionable – he was “very optimistic” that Lynch would still be able to.

A team spokesperson said that following Friday’s practice, Lynch “felt like he couldn’t play.”

His absence will mean another opportunity for Christine Michael, who has made a strong impression in his return to the team while sharing carries the last three weeks with Bryce Brown and Fred Jackson.

Lynch returned to the team this week after spending the last three in San Francisco, where he was working out with trainers as he continued his rehab from Nov. 25 abdominal surgery. Carroll expressed optimism all week that Lynch would be able to play but didn’t state definitively that he would until his weekly radio appearance on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM.

In a taped interview that aired Friday, Carroll said of Lynch: “Yeah, he’s going to play. He’s looked really good in practice. He’s practiced as hard as he ever has throughout the week just to prove to himself that he’s right I think as well as everybody else. So he’s ready to go and we’re anxious to see him fit in.”

Carroll then changed his stance on Lynch when he met with reporters Friday afternoon.

“We’ve got to go tomorrow and make sure he’s OK after today – that same-old thing,” Carroll said. “We’re just going to see how he’s taken to the week’s work and all of that. He looked good during the week and did some really good stuff, so we’ll just use all of the time that we have available.”

But even that didn’t happen as Lynch told the team Friday he couldn’t play.

He joins tight end Luke Willson as the only two Seahawks who have been ruled out for Sunday’s game.

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