The Seattle Seahawks have Marshawn Lynch out with an injury after having surgery and the success of Thomas Rawls in his place could lead to a split in 2016. Jason La Canfora at CBS Sports reports that the Seahawks could consider releasing Lynch into next season and this comes as the team has just lost Jimmy Graham to an injury and he will be out for the year.
The Seahawks are trying to play their way back into playoff contention after winning over the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they likely will have to do it without two of their top offensive players. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Lynch had surgery last week to help with a lingering abdominal issue and while he could return this season at some point, it's possible it will not be until the playoffs (if the Seahawks make it).
Graham suffered a knee injury on Sunday against the Steelers and head coach Pete Carroll confirmed that Graham will need surgery, putting him out for the rest of the year. Luke Willson is a fantasy option with Graham out and he could step up this week.
Lynch being out is tough for the Seahawks, but the team has found a strong replacement this season with Thomas Rawls. Lynch has only played in seven games this season and Rawls has stepped in nicely, leading the team with 685 rushing yards. The injury issues with Lynch and the success of Rawls could lead to some tough decisions for Seattle, as CBS Sports reports that there is a chance that Lynch could be out of Seattle in 2016.
Jason La Canfora writes that sources said that "it would not be a surprise" if Lynch has played his last game for the team. The report says that the team is going to wait to see how Lynch heals from surgery before deciding on whether to place him on season-ending IR, as there is a chance Lynch could return in December. If Lynch returns in that amount of time, he could play at the end of the regular season and in the playoffs if the Seahawks make it.
Lynch coming back that quickly from surgery is an optimistic look and the team is hoping that he can contribute again at some point this season. Lynch has run with a hard hitting style during his career and that could finally be catching up to him this season. Lynch has rushed for at least 1200 yards in each of the past four seasons while playing in at least 15 games in each of the past five, but it looks like both of those streaks will end this year.
Lynch is getting to the age when most running backs start to break down and the success of Rawls could make a decision to cut Lynch a bit easier. The Seahawks have given out contracts over the past couple years to Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman and with Lynch making around $10 million next year, he could be an option to be released. La Canfora writes that while Lynch received a pay bump before this season, all the guaranteed money in his contract will be paid out for 2015, meaning the team could release him heading into next year.