There is no doubting the Seattle Seahawks are missing Marshawn Lynch. The running back has been out recovering from surgery to his abdomen and the result has been the offense becoming one dimensional and suffering an ugly loss to the St. Louis Rams. The Russell Wilson-Doug Baldwin connection was simply not enough to get the win in Week 16 and now fans are waiting to hear a status update on the running back heading into the final game of the regular season.
According to head coach Pete Carroll, Lynch has been training off-site with an MMA coach in order to get back into "fighting shape." That has left everyone wondering when the veteran will see the field again as a timetable for his return has yet to be determined. According to Lynch's trainer, Tareq Azim, Lynch will be back soon enough, but fails to actually say how soon that will be.
"This dude is all about, 'If I eat, everybody eats,' " Azim said, via NFL.com. "He's legit. That's why it's hard not to support him. So, no, I'm not going to stay closed. At the pace he's going, if he keeps doing what he's doing, I have no doubts that he'll be leading the team and the organization when he needs to be there. He's going through some very significant increases in performance and making tremendous strides. My responsibility is to get him to his ideal max state to take this team to the Super Bowl again, but more importantly, to bring him back to full health. That decision will be on him."
That says nothing about when Lynch will be ready to play. The Seahawks are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs and it is clear they need Lynch to succeed. Without Lynch and backup Thomas Rawls who is out for the year, the team has been relying on a three-headed rotation of Fred Jackson, Christine Michael and Bryce Brown. That trio along with Will Tukuafu and Wilson acquired just 60 yards on 22 carries against the Rams. Wilson threw the ball 41 times, completing just 25 of those passes. The lack of versatility ended the Seahawks chances as Carroll noted the run game and Wilson's productivity go hand in hand.
"The effectiveness of the run game is a big deal," Carroll said, via the Seattle Times. "It's a big deal to fitting things together and causing the defense to deal with us in a certain manner."
The Seahawks need Lynch. With Wilson showing that he can still be mortal at times, the run game will be needed to help bail out the passing game. A date the Washington Redskins is all-but guaranteed in the playoffs and Lynch is needed if Seattle is going to get the win and move forward.