Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch texted an ESPN reporter Thursday night that he will be ready to play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.
Apparently erasing any last doubt that he will play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch texted two simple words Thursday night to ESPN reporter Kenny Mayne: “I’m ready.”
Lynch has not been available to the media at-large of late, but ESPN reported Thursday night that Lynch texted Mayne — with whom he has cooperated on stories in the past — that he will be ready to play Sunday.
There had been increasing signs all week that Lynch would set to play for the first time since having abdominal surgery on Nov. 25.
Most crucially, he was a full participant in practice Thursday after also having been a full participant on Wednesday. The fact that he was able to practice both days was a big step in the right direction, as the team said it wanted to see how Lynch would recover the next day from work the previous day.
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Lynch, who has not played since Nov. 15 against Arizona, also practiced fully all three days last week and then decided after Friday’s workout that he was not ready and then stayed behind as the team traveled to Minnesota for a 10-9 wild-card playoff win.
But the fact that Lynch has been able to again practice fully both days this week on top of the work from last week had seemed to increase the odds he would play against the Panthers.
Adding to the optimism were the words of Seattle coaches after Wednesday’s practice.
“I can’t judge each and every day, but probably one of the best days that he’s had out here today,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Wednesday. “He’s in there, he’s moving around, he’s making more cuts, probably a little bit more tempo to it, as well. So we’ll just continue to go day-to-day with it.’’
Asked if Lynch looked better than last week, Bevell said: “I would say probably. I would say he had a little bit more pace, a little bit more tempo to him even than he had at the end of last week.’’
Offensive line coach Tom Cable largely echoed Bevell’s assertion of how Lynch looked in Wednesday’s practice saying “to me he looks the same (as last week). So it’s just a matter of their recovery and feeling confident that he can play.’’
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said Thursday any uncertainty over Lynch’s status did not change the preparation for the game.
“Well obviously any time you have Marshawn it’s a great thing,” Wilson said. “He’s a great football player. Nobody really runs like him at all, and hopefully we can have him out there on the field. But as teammates we want him to be healthy, we want him to feel like he’s ready to go. We get to play this game, this game is such a physical game, especially the way he plays. He’s one of a kind. We still prepare the same way. We still prepare to win. We still prepare to have great foresight into what’s going on in the game and have great preparation.”
But Lynch’s two words to ESPN appear to settle any lingering doubt. One more step will come Friday when the team leaves for Carolina following an early-afternoon practice.