Mike Davis, who was the fourth tailback to start for the Seahawks this season, left with a strained groin in the third quarter. He had 18 yards on six carries and two catches for 41 yards.

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This apparently is just how it’s going to go for Seattle’s running-back position this season.

Just when the Seahawks had made the bold decision to go with Mike Davis as the starter — a decision that showed some positive early returns — Davis headed to the sideline with a strained groin.

Davis said he thinks he’ll be OK but also that he’s going to have an MRI to determine the extent of the damage.

Falcons 34, Seahawks 31

 

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Davis said the injury happened on a 21-yard reception early in the third quarter.

“I think it was an awkward fall,’’ he said. “I’m feeling good now. I just gotta get an MRI and see exactly what it is. I should be good.’’

But he couldn’t play the rest of the game, finishing with 18 yards on six carries, which left the running game in the hands of Eddie Lacy and J.D. McKissic with Thomas Rawls having been a healthy inactive and watching from the sideline.

Davis became the fourth different player to start at tailback this season following Chris Carson, Rawls and Lacy in what was Seattle’s latest attempt to jump-start its running game.

Rawls had gotten the call against Arizona with Lacy out with a groin injury but gained just 27 yards on 10 attempts, with 23 on one play.

Those struggles, along with an injury to C.J. Prosise, compelled Seattle to sign Davis off the practice squad this week and move him right into the starting lineup, leaving Lacy — who signed a one-year deal worth up to $4.25 million in the spring — on the sideline.

Lacy ended up with just 2 yards on three attempts and has just 130 in what is becoming a mystifying season.

If Davis can’t play this Sunday at San Francisco, though, Seattle will be forced to go back to Lacy and Rawls as well as McKissic.

“I wanted to see him get a shot, get going,’’ Seattle coach Pete Carroll said of Davis. “Eddie was going to play, too, depending upon how the game went and all that.’’

That Rawls was inactive is the latest setback in what has been a struggle of a third season for the player who was the team’s surprise rookie standout in 2015.

It was the second time this year, Rawls has been a healthy scratch and he has just 125 yards on 49 carries for the season.

Griffin injury further depletes secondary

Seattle starting right cornerback Shaquill Griffin left on the second play of the game with a possible concussion, which left the Seahawks with just four cornerbacks and neither of the two who have been their primary corners this season — Griffin and Richard Sherman.

Byron Maxwell, who returned to the team last week in the wake of the injury to Sherman, replaced Griffin.

“Fortunately Maxwell stepped in this week and he went in there and played football and did a pretty good job,’’ Carroll said.

Maxwell also got called for a pass-interference penalty as did Jeremy Lane, which Carroll considered key to the game and which safety Earl Thomas were signs of the officials dictating a bit how Seattle is allowed to play.

“We have to keep our hands clean because the refs aren’t going to let us play physical,’’ Thomas said. “They know Seattle is going to beat the receivers up, and we’re not going to really give them a chance to release like they want and they’re going to be wide open. We have to be better there.’’

Aboushi leaves with shoulder injury

Seattle could be forced to shuffle its offensive line again this week as starting right guard Oday Aboushi departed early in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.

“He banged his shoulder pretty good,’’ Carroll said. “We don’t know what the extent is, but it was enough that he couldn’t go back in.’’

Aboushi was replaced by Mark Glowinski, who began the season as the starter at that spot before being replaced after two games, and Seattle could go back to Glowinski for Sunday’s game at San Francisco.

Seattle, though, might also be getting back the services of Luke Joeckel, who has missed the last five games after having knee surgery but could return this week, and that might give the Seahawks some additional options up front.