The Seattle Seahawks will be without Marshawn Lynch on Sunday for the NFC Wild Card game against the Minnesota Vikings. Lynch was ruled out along with Luke Willson for the Seahawks and now Russell Wilson will have to take the team on his back to try and get to the divisional round of the playoffs.
Lynch returned to the team this week after having abdominal surgery and was expected to start after being able to participate in practice. Head coach Pete Carroll said to the media all week that the expectation was that Lynch would be able to play after missing over a month following surgery. According to Pro Football Talk, Lynch was officially ruled out on Friday along with tight end Luke Willson, who is dealing with concussion related issues.
Lynch missed seven games at the end of the season for the Seahawks, but the team was able to win six of those and now will have to try again. Lynch was able to practice during the week and it looked like he would be ready to play on Sunday after not suffering any setbacks in the Friday session. The Seahawks ruled Lynch out and according to ESPN.com, Lynch told the team that before they left Seattle that he "felt like he couldn't play" on Sunday. The weather forecast is calling for sub-zero temperatures in Minnesota and that could have been a factor in the decision.
The Seahawks have already won a game in Minnesota against the Vikings without Lynch, but that was a regular season game and not the playoffs. The Seahawks dominated that game with a 38-7 win and now Christine Michael and Fred Jackson likely will take over the load for Lynch along with Bryce Brown. Wilson stepped up big with Lynch out for the seven game stretch, throwing 24 touchdowns and just one interception in that time.
Carroll previously was optimistic that Lynch could play and said on KIRO 97.3 FM that "he's going to play" on Sunday. Lynch rushed for just 417 yards this season in nine games for the Seahawks, his lowest total during his career with the team. Michael and Brown now will take over the main backs, while Jackson likely will stick with his role as a third down and passing down back.
The Seahawks are expecting to get back Kam Chancellor this week, but the team will be without Luke Willson at tight end, according to the Seattle Times. Cooper Helfet and Chase Coffman will be the main tight end options for the Seahawks on Sunday with Willson out.