Thomas Rawls said he's excited to return to the starting lineup Sunday at Los Angeles and ready to take on more carries after getting back into action last Sunday against Miami.
As he was carted off the field at Baltimore last Dec. 13, Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls also entered the unknown.
At the time, all he really knew was that his ankle really hurt.
Soon, he would find out it had been dislocated and suffered torn ligaments, eventually requiring an extensive surgery that as he said recently included having “a couple tight ropes, metal screws and a metal plate’’ inserted to keep it all together. All of that hardware still remains.
“I wasn’t sure when I would get back,’’ Rawls said of what he thought in that moment. “I wasn’t sure I would get back out there again.’’
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But Rawls has not only made it back but on Wednesday was announced by coach Pete Carroll as again being the team’s starting tailback.
Christine Michael started the opener against Miami with the Seahawks in part giving a nod to Michael for the work he had done during the off-season and preseason and also desiring to ease Rawls back into action.
But after Rawls was able to make 12 carries for 32 yards last week with no setbacks or day-after soreness, the team now feels he is ready to go full out.
“Well I mean he’s always been our starter,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. “He was our starter last year and C-Mike has done a great job for us. I don’t think in any way do we need to minimize what he has done. He’s done a phenomenal job, he’ll still get opportunity to carry the ball. But Thomas has been our guy and you could see it in the game — it was good to have him back. He’s a physical runner, he’s got the style that we look for, the tenacity that we look for and he kind of embodies who we want to be and he looked healthy and as long as he is healthy he is that guy.”
Rawls said he is looking forward to reclaiming the starter’s role.
“I think coach is pretty confident with it but I’m fairly confident with it also,’’ Rawls said. “So I’m excited to be out there. Evidently they named me the starter, evidently I’m going to have a huge load this week. So I’m looking forward to it.’’
Rawls rushed for 830 yards last season as a rookie to lead the Seahawks before suffering the injury at Baltimore.
He had just two carries in the preseason (and also just two plays) before playing last Sunday against Miami.
But Rawls was adamant that there was no shaking off the rust required.
“Oh no, not at all,’’ he said. “It was all business. There was no shaking the off the rust. It was all business. We had a game. I tried to get out of my mind and get out of my body and play loose and play free and that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t think about my ankle or anything. I was just out there playing and doing my job.’’
Rawls said he “felt good’’ on Monday, with no pain.
So what’s left now?
“Just hitting the line of scrimmage a little faster and reading (the blocks) a little bit better,’’ he said. “Being more patient and more calmer. I was so excited being out there, playing a lot of plays and getting a lot of carries. So that’s my main goal now.’’