It would have been a preposterous suggestion a month ago. Bring back Rashaad Penny?

Hobbled again for much of this season, Penny had done little to show he was capable of being a viable, every-down running back in the NFL.

Oh, how quickly things have changed.

Over the past few weeks, Penny has revitalized the Seahawks’ dormant rushing attack, and as a lost season creeps toward its depressing conclusion, he has become one of the few bright spots for a team that slumped to 5-10 on Sunday following a disastrous 25-24 loss to the Chicago Bears at home.


This, no doubt, is the version of Penny the Seahawks thought they were getting when they made him their first-round draft pick in 2018.

And this is a version of Penny that, surely, they would like to have back in their backfield in 2022.

Penny, 25, will be a free agent after the season.

Has he done enough to convince the Seahawks he could be a key piece of the offense in 2022?


“Hope so,” Penny said after the game. “I mean, I come out to win games and help contribute. I think that’s the number one thing for me and, again, staying injury-free. And just being positive and doing whatever it takes to help the team win. That’s all it is.”

Penny rushed for 135 yards on 17 carries Sunday against the Bears, including a 3-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He had runs of 25 and 32 yards, showing a nice blend of power and burst.

That performance came two weeks after he’d rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries — all career highs — in a win at Houston.

“He looks really good. He looks really good playing ball,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “We need him on our team.”

More than anything, given a greater workload the past few weeks, he said he’s most proud of being able to stay healthy.

“It was a big milestone for me,” he said, “because my whole career has been derailed with small little injuries or just small things. And, finally, for four games straight I was able to just keep going.”


Injuries have decimated the Seahawks’ rushing attack this season, and the loss of Chris Carson to a season-ending neck injury changed the complexion of the offense. The Seahawks came into the weekend ranked 30th in the NFL in total yards.

The Seahawks are hopeful Carson can return to full strength, but that’s not a certainty.

Penny has two more games to show the Seahawks — and everyone else — that he’s capable of carrying the load.

“This journey for me is far from over,” he said. “I knew what I could do. I mean, again, it’s just I was never on the field. It’s unfortunate, but I’m thankful for whatever I’ve been doing these last few weeks. I couldn’t have done it without these guys giving me an opportunity to show what I can do and just never giving up on me.”