The Seattle Seahawks have Marshawn Lynch out with an injury and after the success of Thomas Rawls, there is a chance that Lynch could be released heading into 2016, according to CBS Sports. The Seahawks are also dealing with an injury to Jimmy Graham and now he is out for the season, leaving Luke Willson and Cooper Helfet to step up at tight end.
The Seahawks have played themselves into playoff position in the NFC, but the team may have to continue that push without Marshawn Lynch. The running back had surgery last week to help repair a nagging abdominal/groin issue and while he could return by the end of the regular season, it's an optimistic timeline for recovery. Head coach Pete Carroll said that he "expects" Lynch to be back before the end of the regular season, but there is a chance he could be out for longer than that. According to Mike Garafolo at Fox Sports, Lynch is expected to miss "about a month" after surgery.
The injury to Lynch is tough to deal with for the Seahawks, but this season the team has been able to make up his production with Thomas Rawls stepping in. Rawls has played well and is leading the team in rushing and his success could make for some tough decisions heading into 2016. Lynch has been a powerhouse back for the Seahawks over the past five seasons, but he has been hampered by injuries all season and as he gets to the age of 30, Seattle may think about cutting the running back loose.
Jason La Canfora at CBS Sports reports that the Seahawks could consider releasing Lynch heading into 2016 after the strong play from Rawls, as Lynch has been paid all the guaranteed money on his contract. The Seahawks have paid out deals to numerous players over the past couple years and while Lynch also received a new contract before the season, the fact that it has no more guaranteed money gives the team the option to release the running back. Lynch will make nearly $10 million next season and that is a lot to pay a player that could be starting to break down.
Lynch has been a consistently durable player for the Seahawks over the past five years, but his bruising running style could be catching up to him. Lynch has played in all 16 games for the Seahawks in four of the past five seasons and has rushed for at least 1200 yards in four straight years, but this season those streaks will end. Lynch has just 417 yards rushing in seven games played and with Rawls looking like a younger version of Lynch, the Seahawks may feel it's time to move on.
The Seahawks are going to have to play out the season with Jimmy Graham whether they make the playoffs or not, as the tight end suffered a torn patellar tendon and is out for the season. The team officially placed Graham on injured reserve and now he will have a long recovery as he tries to come back from the injury. Victor Cruz had a similar injury and was not able to play in 2015. Willson now could be a fantasy option for the Seahawks.