Carroll insists there was nothing punitive about Lynch not starting

Jan 12, 2015, 1:53 PM | Updated: Jan 13, 2015, 10:01 am

Running back Marshawn Lynch was on the sideline for Seattle’s opening possessions of two games during the regular season, the team citing a tight back the first time and then an upset stomach the second as the reasons he didn’t start.

When the subject of Lynch’s workload in general came up on Monday during coach Pete Carroll’s weekly appearance with “Brock and Salk” on 710 ESPN Seattle, he went out of his way to deny speculation that Lynch had been benched in those two instances as a punitive measure.

The question asked of Carroll was about backup Robert Turbin seeing more action toward the end of the regular season. He carried a combined 21 times over the final two games, which was only three fewer than Lynch. Was that in an effort to keep Lynch fresh heading into the playoffs?

“No, no, none of that,” Carroll said. “And by the way, while I think of it, there has never been this undercurrent of penalizing him for some reason or another early in the game like one of you guys have been bringing up regularly for weeks now.”

Lynch sat out Seattle’s opening possession in Week 5 against Washington and the entire first quarter in Week 16 against Arizona.

“Really, we did have some situations where he was sick. He got sick in the second half in this game and needed to be out for a bit,” Carroll said, referring to Seattle’s win over Carolina on Saturday. “So we’re just try to take care of him and fortunately he has not been overworked at this time so he’s got a chance to finish really great, feeling good.

“Did that clear that up?”

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Carroll insists there was nothing punitive about Lynch not starting