The Seattle Seahawks are hoping to have Marshawn Lynch start in Week 5, but the running back could be out with a hamstring injury, leaving Thomas Rawls as the best fantasy option for team owners. Lynch was out last week and both Rawls and Fred Jackson got playing time behind Russell Wilson, but Jackson also could be limited or out after dealing with an ankle injury.
Lynch missed his first game in four years with the Seahawks last week, as the running back is dealing with a hamstring issue and has not healed up completely yet. According to the Seattle Times, head coach Pete Carroll said that Lynch is currently "day to day" and that the team will take a look at him at the "end of the week" to decide his status. For fantasy owners, Thomas Rawls is the best replacement option, as he started in place of Lynch last week and Jackson is dealing with an injury as well. UPDATE: Per ESPN: Lynch will be out for the game on Sunday against the Bengals.
Lynch could be a game time decision for the Seahawks and the team is "hopeful" that he can play on Sunday against the Bengals, even on a limited basis. Friday will be a update day for Lynch and fantasy owners should look at that report as they determine whether or not to start the running back. Rawls has been solid coming in for Lynch and he is worth a handcuff pickup in leagues, as he could get work even if Lynch returns and is not 100 percent healed.
With Jackson also banged up, the Seahawks may rely on Rawls a great deal, as Russell Wilson has been getting sacked a ton and the team need to keep the rushing game established. Last week Rawls had a solid game against the Lions and had 48 yards on 17 carries and he had his best game the previous week against the Bears. Rawls came in for Lynch and had 104 yards on 16 carries and he will be looking to get in line with that this week against a tough Bengals defense.
This season Rawls has 157 yards rushing in four games and is averaging 4.5 yards per carry, but he has yet to find the endzone. Lynch has a Grade 1 strain on his hamstring, according to NFL.com, so the seriousness of the injury is not as bad as it could have been. Lynch is one of the most consistent running backs in the league and he had only missed one game in his time with the Seahawks before sitting out last week.
Last season Lynch had his lowest total of carries for the Seahawks in four years, but he had more rushing yards than the previous season with 1306 and he also scored 13 TDs. Lynch has been slow to start this season with the injury and has just 128 yards and he has yet to make it into the endzone. The Seahawks offensive line underwent numerous changes in the offseason and that is starting to filter out into the rushing game and with Wilson's protection, as he is continuing to get hit.