RENTON — With star quarterback Russell Wilson (finger) sidelined for at least two more games, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has made it known — well known — what he wants his offensive strategy to look like.

That’s right, the Seahawks are going to run the ball.

Even with starting running back Chris Carson (neck) on the injured reserve, the Seahawks did have success with their ground game in the second half of their overtime loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday night.

Their plan for Monday night’s game against the New Orleans Saints?

Yep, run it. And then run it some more.

“This is nothing new. We’re not recreating the wheel here,” Carroll said this week. “We’ve been able to demonstrate how you play football in that style. … It’s not 3 yards and a cloud of dust. Everything else fits off of (the run game). It just makes our style come to life, and it felt awesome to see our guys play like that (Sunday). So we’re going to go for it.”

On the trip back from Pittsburgh late Sunday — in the bus and then on the airplane — Carroll said he had lengthy discussions with first-year offensive coordinator Shane Waldron about re-establishing the run.


“It was a good turn for us,” Carroll said of the commitment to the run game against the Steelers. “Maybe (it’s) not too late.”

Perhaps it’s not too late for Rashaad Penny, either.

The Seahawks will get some needed reinforcements in the backfield in Penny, who on Friday was officially designated to return to practice.

Penny said he’s able and eager to help in any way he can.

“I’m just happy to play football again,” he said.

After spending most of the 2020 season recovering from a major knee injury, Penny appeared in the season opener against Indianapolis, rushing for eight yards on two carries. But he landed back on the injured reserve on Oct. 2 with a calf injury.

He said he wasn’t sure how the calf injury happened.

“This is a violent game for us, especially running backs,” he said. “I really don’t go out there to miss games. … I really try to be available. But sometimes your body says ‘no.’ And, unfortunately, my body has been saying ‘no’ to me a lot.”


A 2018 first-round pick, Penny has missed almost as many games (26) as he’s played (28) during his NFL career. And he’s obviously aware of the perception of him as an injury-prone player.

Entering the final year of his rookie contract, Penny dropped about 10 pounds this offseason — he’s listed at 220 now — in hopes of having a healthy and productive season.

“I really tried not to get hurt,” he said. “I prepare the right way to do everything right. I thought losing the weight and coming in and doing what I do was perfect for me this year. But I never let myself (get) down. I’ve always fought through because it’s a mental game. And that’s something that I’ve definitely got stronger (with) over time.”

In Carson’s place, Alex Collins had one of the best games of his career Sunday in Pittsburgh, rushing for 101 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. But Collins has been limited this week with a groin injury, and Penny is perhaps coming back at just the right time.

“I’m ready to go. I’m revved up. I’m excited,” Penny said, adding, “I’m still young. I’m fresh. And I’m ready to go, and now’s the chance for me to show it.”