Seattle Seahawks likely to have RB Marshawn Lynch available

By The Sports Xchange

RENTON, Wash. -- It is looking increasingly more likely that the Seattle Seahawks will have star running back Marshawn Lynch in uniform for Sunday's Wild Card playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Lynch was a full participant in practice on Wednesday, his first such workout since returning to the team on Monday after weeks rehabbing in the Bay Area.


"He looked good," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "It's good to have him back out here. Take it a day at a time and see if he continues to move along through the week and looking forward to having him."

Lynch had surgery on Nov. 25 in Philadelphia to repair an abdominal injury that forced him out of the team's game with the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 15. He then missed Seattle's game against the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 22 before heading for evaluation and ultimately surgery.


Lynch missed the team's final seven games of the season while recovering from the procedure. He also missed two games earlier this season due to a hamstring injury.

Ultimately, the only thing standing between Lynch and playing at this point seems to be if he was unable to keep improving throughout the week. Head coach Pete Carroll has always stressed the importance of putting consecutive days of work in without any issues arising as being critical for players returning from injuries. So far, so good, but the team will need to see how he can perform on Thursday and Friday to calm any potential concerns.

"It will be just the process of seeing him recover from the day's work and see how he goes," Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said. "He looks like he's fine."

Offensive line coach Tom Cable said a few weeks ago that Lynch would have to adapt to how the Seahawks were performing in his absence. Cable said Wednesday that all signs are positive so far.

"He's been fantastic," Cable said. "He's adapted very well. I think he's done a great job of recognizing where this team is at and their vibe and he's come right in and went to work and it's been really good."


Lynch has just one 100-yard game this season, rushing for 122 yard and a touchdown against the 49ers on Oct. 22. For the season, Lynch has just 411 yards and three touchdowns on 111 carries. While Christine Michael has been solid in taking over for Lynch and Thomas Rawls in recent weeks, the return of Lynch is still a potential boon for the Seahawks playoff run.

"He's a playmaker," running back Fred Jackson said. "He's been around long enough, he's been in this system long enough, he'll be fine jumping back in there doing whatever play is called. He won't have a hard time picking it up."

SERIES HISTORY: 15th meeting all-time with Minnesota. Seahawks lead series, 9-5. Seahawks won prior meeting in December, 38-7. Seattle has won three straight games against the Vikings. The teams have never met in the postseason.

GAME PLAN: Like in their regular season meeting, everything starts with the running game this week Adrian Peterson finished the season as the league's leading rusher and the Seahawks will have to find a way to keep Peterson in check. Seattle finished the season as the top rush defense in the league, allowing just 81.5 yards per game. Peterson was limited to 18 yards on eight carries in the first meeting in December. Offensively, the Seahawks don't need to change a thing. Russell Wilson and the passing game have been cruising the last seven weeks. However, making sure to take care of the ball in subfreezing temperatures will be vital. The only game Seattle has lost in the last seven weeks came when they fumbled five times against the St. Louis Rams in Week 16.



--Seahawks defense vs. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

Peterson is the most dynamic rushing threat in the league and appears to be back to form from his MVP season in 2012. Keeping Peterson in check will require the attention of all 11 defensive players for Seattle. They completely shut down Peterson in the first meeting, holding him to 18 yards on eight carries.

--Vikings DT Linval Joseph vs. Seahawks offensive line.

Joseph did not play in the first meeting between the two teams in December. Joseph is a key piece of Minnesota's run defense and the Vikings were unable to slow down Seattle's attack without him five weeks ago.

--Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch vs. Vikings defense.

Lynch is expected to play for the first time since Week 9 against the Vikings on Sunday. Lynch only played one full game behind the Seahawks current offensive line, which has been much better in the second half of the season after Patrick Lewis was inserted at center. How effective can Lynch be after just a few days of practice and seven games on the sidelines? Seattle will find out on Sunday.

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