The Seahawks traveled to Minnesota last night in advance of their playoff game with the Vikings, but Marshawn Lynch did not go with them. Lynch hasn’t played since getting abdominal surgery in November, but he practiced all week with the team up in Seattle, and as of Friday morning, looked like a lock to play.
Pete Carroll even told a Seattle-area radio station:
He’s going to play. And he’s looked really good in practice. He’s practiced as hard as he ever has throughout the week just to prove to himself that he was right, I think, as well as everybody else.
But later that afternoon, Carroll hedged and said that Lynch was questionable, and that he was merely “optimistic” he would get to play. Last night, Lynch was officially declared out. This wouldn’t be out of the ordinary—injuries flare up all the time, in more inconvenient situations than this—were it not for a curious report that Lynch’s last-minute downgrade had nothing to do with a setback.
According to ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia, Lynch is just as healthy as he was before practice:
But following the team’s final workout at its practice facility Friday, the Seahawks said, Lynch notified them that he could not play Sunday. He did not travel with the team to Minneapolis later in the day.
According to a source, Lynch did not suffer any kind of setback with his injury during Friday’s practice.
The Seahawks have thrived since Lynch’s injury, which he spent months away from the team rehabbing down in the Bay Area. The Seattle Times notes that Carroll and Lynch don’t seem to be nearly on the same page:
That the arrangement seemed different was evident, though, on one Wednesday when Carroll told the media Lynch was not with the team yet, only for the media a few hours later to walk to practice and see Lynch watching the workout through a window.
Lynch has contemplated retiring in the very recent past, but he signed a three-year deal with the Seahawks last spring. Still, given this strange last-minute downgrade and very real questions about how Lynch’s presence would affect the team’s renewed success, the Seahawks-Lynch relationship seems strained at best.
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