Seattle Seahawks rumors are already buzzing about Marshawn Lynch playing against the Carolina Panthers. As the Seattle Seahawks advance in the 2016 NFL Playoffs, the question of Lynch’s availability is now a hot topic again. A report from ESPN.com states that it was Lynch who ruled himself out against the Minnesota Vikings during the wild card round of the playoffs. After taking first-team snaps during the weekly practices, Lynch benched himself on the Friday before game day.
Playing against the Vikings, the Seahawks pulled out a 10-9 victory to advance in the NFC Playoffs. Without Marhsawn Lynch in the game, the Seahawks leaned heavily on Christine Michael. Michael had 21 carries for 70 yards, coming through with several good runs during a fourth quarter touchdown drive. Russell Wilson added 21 yards on five carries and the team finished with 97 net rushing yards. That included only two first downs on running plays, though, showing the team could still use either Lynch or Thomas Rawls as part of the offense.
In the updated schedule for the 2016 NFL Playoffs, the Seattle Seahawks now travel to play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, January 17 at 1:05 p.m. ET. It’s another early start time for the NFC West team, meaning fans in Seattle will tune in to watch on FOX at about 10:05 a.m. PT. The 15-1 Panthers host the game after securing the No. 1 seed in the NFC and home field advantage throughout the postseason. No matter what the weather forecast for Carolina turns out to be, it will be warmer than it was in Minnesota.
Will Marshawn Lynch play against the Carolina Panthers? Lynch’s agent said he “tweaked” something in practice on Friday and wasn’t prepared for a return to the field. Lynch has missed a majority of the season due to injuries and has been trying to recover from surgery on his abdomen. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll thought that Lynch looked good during practices, giving him most of the reps with the starters. It just didn’t work out in the end, forcing the Seahawks to play a 10th game this season without the star running back. Carroll did speak at length (following the playoff game) about why Lynch didn’t travel to Minnesota.
“We finished practice [on Friday], and I went right to you guys, to talk to the media, just going on what I had seen. But when he went back to his locker and sat down, he just didn’t feel it. He didn’t feel like he could go, and that’s it. He just didn’t feel like he had it. There wasn’t enough time to build the confidence that he needed to come in and do something.”
Last week, Carroll seemed very positive that Lynch would play against the Minnesota Vikings. On Sunday, when he spoke to the press, he wasn’t as sure in his responses about whether Lynch would play next Sunday. A week of practice for the team lies ahead and if Lynch has continued working on his return through the weekend, it’s certainly possible that “Beast Mode” is about to take the field for the Seahawks again.
There will likely be plenty of Seahawks rumors about the Marshawn Lynch situation as the week begins. It is also likely to be a hot topic among NFL analysts who will try to predict how the Seahawks vs. Panthers came is going to turn out. The winner of the Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers will advance to the NFC Championship Game to play the winner of the Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals. The winner of the NFC title game will then advance to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara.
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