The loss of Thomas Rawls for the season means the Seattle Seahawks will likely add a running back to the roster.
The loss for the season of Thomas Rawls means the Seattle Seahawks are likely looking for another running back to help fill the void until the return of Marshawn Lynch — and maybe to add depth once Lynch does come back.
Rawls suffered a broken ankle and torn ligaments in Sunday’s 35-6 win at Baltimore, an injury that will sideline him for the rest of the 2015 season.
After the game, coach Pete Carroll said the team will now have to get a good read on Lynch’s situation and then figure out what to do from there.
Lynch had abdominal surgery on Nov. 25 and last played on Nov. 15 against Arizona. Carroll initially said Lynch could be back in 3-4 weeks, but last week said that might not have been a realistic timetable.
Lynch returned to Seattle last Wednesday to continue his rehab.
“We’ll see how Marshawn does,’’ Carroll said Sunday. “He was back in rehabbing with us (this week). We’ll see where he is. He’s got a chance to get back. It’s all about getting back in shape and getting right. I don’t know what the timetable is at this point. Our trainers can’t tell yet. But that will be the next thing we will look to see how that works out.’’
Seattle returns home the next two hosts to host Cleveland and the St. Louis Rams, games in which Seahawks will be heavy favorites (Seattle is already listed as a 14-point favorite Sunday against the Browns) and contests in which they may be able to get by with what they have — as they did the last three quarters against the Ravens Sunday.
Without Rawls, Seattle has recently-acquired DuJuan Harris and veteran Fred Jackson, whose numbers paled on Sunday to those put up by Rawls, who had 44 yards on six carries before being injured. Harris had 42 yards on 18 carries and lost a fumble and Jackson had 15 yards on seven carries.
Fullback Derrick Coleman can also be used at tailback — he had a 19-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks will also undoubtedly scour what is available on the free agent market (remember that the trade deadine has passed) and on other team’s practice squads (those players can be signed to a 53-man active roster at any time). The Seahawks will almost certainly at some point this week put Rawls on the Injured Reserve list which will open up a spot on the 53-man roster for another running back.
One possibility could be former 49er Kendall Hunter, who worked out for the Seahawks last month. Hunter has been battling to come back from a torn ACL suffered last year. He has 117 yards in his career against the Seahawks and 1,202 yards and seven touchdowns with a 4.6-yard average in 43 games in his SF career from 2011-13.
Bryce Brown, who has been with the Seahawks on two different occasions this season without playing in a game (he was on the 53-man roster for two games but inactive for each), could be another option.
Another running back who has had some tryouts with NFL teams lately is Marion Grice, who spent last year with Arizona and recently was released by Detroit off its practice squad.
Some fans have wondered about other running backs with Seattle ties.Two, though, would be unavailable — Robert Turbin and Rod Smith — who are each on Dallas’ 53-man roster. Christine Michael, Seattle’s second-round pick in 2013, is on Washington’s practice squad and could be signed. But Michael was also available when the Seahawks signed Harris and Brown in the wake of finding out that Lynch might need surgery so that may not be a road the team wants to go down any more.
One big name also remains available but would seem unlikely at best — former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice. Rice has not played since the 2013 season after being suspended and then released in 2014 following a domestic violence incident. He averaged just 3.1 yards per carry his final season with the Ravens, as well.