Seattle Seahawks continue playoff push with retread backfield

By The Sports Xchange
Seattle Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls (34) rushes for short yardage against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of their NFL game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, December 13, 2015. Photo by David Tulis/UPI
1 of 2 | Seattle Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls (34) rushes for short yardage against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of their NFL game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, December 13, 2015. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

RENTON, Wash. -- Undrafted rookie running back Thomas Rawls had been the biggest surprise of the season for the Seattle Seahawks.

Now they'll have to figure out a way to get by without him until Marshawn Lynch can return to the lineup.


Rawls suffered a broken ankle with ligament damage on a carry late in the first quarter of Sunday's 35-6 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Rawls had been sublime in relief of Lynch, who has missed six games this season due to hamstring and abdominal injuries.

"Thomas has had a fantastic rookie season," coach Pete Carroll said. "Just exemplifies what we're all about, toughness, and hard-nosed and committed and grit and all that stuff. We love the guy and we're really going to miss him."


Rawls was on-pace for a 1,000-yard season despite starting just seven games through Sunday. His 5.6 yards per carry average was No. 1 in the league for players with at least 100 carries.

Rawls' season came to an abrupt end after his ankle was caught underneath him on a tackle by Chris Canty. He had 44 yards on just six carries before exiting the game and deferring to DuJuan Harris and Fred Jackson the rest of the way. Carroll said he doesn't believe that Rawls will need surgery at this point, but the recovery time was too lengthy for him to return this season.

With Lynch likely still at least a week away from returning to the field following abdominal surgery in November, the Seahawks will need some additional running back help in the interim.

Harris and Jackson combined for just 57 yards on 25 carries in place of Rawls in Baltimore. Fullback Derrick Coleman could be a spot option as well as he was a former tailback in college at UCLA.

"After Derrick busted out, he's going to get some shots too," Carroll said. "He looked pretty good the other day."


The team re-signed Bryce Brown to the roster on Monday to provide some additional depth at the position. Brown spent a handful of weeks with Seattle earlier this season when Lynch was out.

"It's a good opportunity for us to bring back a guy that we've been training," Carroll said. "We liked the work that he did. Roster issues made him come and go a little bit here but we're happy to get him back."

Now he'll compete with Harris for the main running back reps with Jackson serving as their third-down option.

With home games against Cleveland and St. Louis upcoming the next two weeks, Seattle should be able to get by without a stellar rushing game. Quarterback Russell Wilson is playing at an MVP level over the last month. Wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett are piling up yards and touchdowns in the passing game.

The Seahawks need to get by in the meantime until Lynch is able to return. Carroll said Lynch was continuing his rehabilitation offsite from the team's headquarters until he's able to return to practice. At the moment there is no timeline on when Lynch is expected to be able to return.



--PASSING OFFENSE: A. Russell Wilson was stellar again, tossing five touchdowns - three to Doug Baldwin, two to Tyler Lockett. Wilson also wasn't sacked and hit just once all game. The only blemish was a dropped touchdown pass by Luke Willson.

--RUSHING OFFENSE: C. This is in two parts. Thomas Rawls was terrific in the first quarter, rushing for 44 yards on just six carries before leaving with a broken ankle. After Rawls left, so did the running game success. DuJuan Harris and Fred Jackson combined for just 57 yards on 25 attempts.

--PASS DEFENSE: B. The Seahawks allowed five passes of at least 20 yards to the Ravens, but none of the big plays came back to haunt them as Baltimore did not score a touchdown.

--RUSH DEFENSE: A. Seattle's run defense is outstanding right now. After holding Adrian Peterson to just 18 yards on eight carries last week, the Baltimore Ravens managed just 28 total rushing yards on the ground. The Seahawks haven't allowed 60 yards rushing or more in any of the last four games.

--SPECIAL TEAMS: A. Steven Hauschka converted all five extra points and forced touchbacks on all six kickoffs. Seattle only had to punt three times in the game.


--COACHING: A. A 29-point victory without a defensive touchdown allowed for the second straight week. Not much else to accomplish in this one.

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