Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy watched as rookie Chris Carson took the running back reins, gaining 58 yards on seven carries in the fourth quarter as Seattle rallied.
Eddie Lacy, one of Seattle’s big-ticket offseason free-agent acquisitions, watched the Seahawks’ 12-9 win from the sidelines Sunday, wearing a lime green hoodie instead of a football uniform, having been declared inactive before the game.
And as Seattle finished off a harder-than-expected victory, also watching was Thomas Rawls, the projected starter entering the year who was making his highly hyped season debut after being out since Aug. 13 with a high ankle sprain.
They each watched as rookie Chris Carson instead took the running back reins, gaining 58 yards on seven carries in the fourth quarter as Seattle rallied. Carson finished with 93 rushing yard on 20 carries.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll, though, said it didn’t mean that Carson has taken hold of the tailback position for the rest of the season.
Instead, he said the team planned to limit Rawls’ carries in his first action in a month. He finished with just 4 yards on five carries, all in the first half.
“We were not going to overwork him,’’ Carroll said. “That was really clear. I didn’t know if it would be only five or six (carries). I wasn’t worried about that part. I just wanted to see how it went, and just get him playing football again and he got back out.’’
Carroll also insisted that the decision to make Lacy one of the team’s seven inactive players doesn’t mean the team is phasing him out after signing him to a one-year, incentive-laden contract worth up to $4.25 million last March.
Lacy started last week with Rawls out, but gained just 3 yards on five carries with Carson then taking over most of the duties in the second half of a 17-9 loss at Green Bay.
The team confirmed Lacy was not injured.
“You only have so many spots,’’ Carroll said. “We wanted to see Thomas come back and that was what the decision was. There were a couple other things that entered into that, too. It’s not like it has to be that way all the time. But it was on this game. I hate that he wasn’t out there. I love Eddie and he wanted to be part of it. But in this matchup with the guys healthy … this was the way we had to go.’’
Lacy’s contract includes $62,500 for every game he is on the active roster as well as incentives of $250,000 if he rushes for 800 yards, $500,000 if he rushes for 900 and up to $1.2 million if he rushes for 1,200 (though those are not cumulative).
That Lacy was inactive led to speculation that the team could release him, though other than saving on incentives there is little financial reason to do so as $2.865 million was fully guaranteed when he signed.
Carroll said there shouldn’t be any doubt that Lacy has a future with the Seahawks.
“He’s part of our guys,’’ he said. “I’m fired up about our group.’’
And Carroll insisted it remains a group, even if he allowed that Carson “looked really good.’’
“. … Thomas had some carries and had some trouble getting started, but it wasn’t because of Thomas. We needed to help him more. But he’s back. Thomas is back in action so we’ll see how that fits together.’’
Another tough day for Graham
A week after catching just three passes for 8 yards — a yardage total that was his low as a Seahawk — tight end Jimmy Graham was even more invisible Sunday, with just one reception for 1 yard. He was only targeted one other time on a pass, in the first quarter on the fourth play of the game. San Francisco’s Jaquiski Tartt hit him hard enough to dislodge the ball.
That means Graham has 9 yards on four receptions this season, hardly the kind of production expected from a player making $10 million this season.
Carroll, though, said he’s not concerned.
“That’s not what we would expect to have happen,’’ Carroll said of Graham’s production. “He had some good chances today. They got him, hit him really good on one seam route and all that. It will be fine. I’m not worried about it at all.’’
Graham left the game briefly in the first half when Carroll said he “banged his knee.’’ But he returned later. “He was OK, I heard,’’ Carroll said.
Protest before game
Michael Bennett’s younger brother, Reshaud Bennett, former Seattle mayoral candidate and social justice activist Nikkita Oliver, and Katrina Johnson, a cousin of Charleena Lyles, all spoke at a Black Lives Matter rally that was organized by the Seattle NAACP and began Sunday morning outside Union Station before the Seahawks’ home opener against San Francisco.
After the game, Michael Bennett said it meant “everything” to have his brother and others supporting him.
“It’s good to always have your family support you and also to have a lot of people in the city support me, it’s just a really good thing,” Michael Bennett said.
• The only apparent injury that would cause anyone to miss time was suffered by cornerback Neiko Thorpe, who was carted off in the first half.
“He did sprain his ankle,’’ Carroll said. “It’s a lateral sprain. X-rays were OK and all that but I don’t know how to report on that other than that.’’
Thorpe is a backup cornerback but a key member of special teams, serving as the gunner on punt teams.
• Cornerback Richard Sherman was listed as questionable for the second straight week, this time with a hamstring issue. But as he did in the opener, Sherman started and went the entire way, keeping alive a consecutive games played streak that is at 98 and a consecutive starts streak that is now at 92.
And Sherman said later there was never a doubt that he would play.
“I think you guys got to give me credit one day,’’ he said. “I’ve been playing every game for seven years. Until I miss one, just go ahead, just give me the benefit of the doubt.’’
• Rookie receiver Amara Darboh, a third-round draft pick, sat out most of the Seahawks’ exhibition games with a concussion and a sternum injury, but finally got his first career reception against San Francisco when he caught a 16-yard pass from Russell Wilson in the first quarter.
“I knew it was eventually going to come, but it felt good to get it,” Darboh said of his first NFL reception. “It was a routine play, just what we practiced. Russ saw me and hit me.”
|Rookie Chris Carson has by far been the Seahawks’ best running back this season. A look at the totals through two games.|
|Note: Russell Wilson has 74 yards rushing in the first two games.|