Coach Pete Carroll warned that people shouldn’t be hasty to dismiss a return of Marshawn Lynch this week, as his balky back would be evaluated on a daily basis. Thursday, Lynch was eased back into practice in preparation for the season opener Sunday at Arizona.
Lynch had only five carries in the preseason, sitting out since the Denver trip when he suffered back spasms. The Pro Bowl back had solid games against Arizona last season (159 yards in two games), but got off to a slow start last season (33 yards in Game 1 vs. San Francisco, 11 yards in Game 2 vs. Pittsburgh and 24 in Game 4 vs. Atlanta). However, once the line play solidified, he exceeded 100 rushing yards in six of the final nine games.
On Wednesday, Lynch said he was confident he could play at Arizona, although he questioned how much he’d be needed. As well as the Seahawks defense had been playing, he joked, the offense might not have to produce very much.
Aiding that defense will be the return of interior lineman Jason Jones, who also missed most of the preseason nursing a knee injury. He’s been back on the field and has been enough of a force to remind observers that he was brought in to provide quality inside pass rush, particularly when Chris Clemons and rookie Bruce Irvin are operating on the edges.
Last season’s first-week surprise was undrafted receiver Doug Baldwin, who caught a 55-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of the loss at San Francisco. Baldwin has been limited recently with a hamstring issue, but is back on the field and apparently healthy.
If there’s anyone challenging to be this year’s “Doug Baldwin,” a good candidate would be receiver Charly Martin, who was a bit of an upset to make the 53-man roster, but who again highlighted Wednesday’s practice by catching everything thrown near him … and several that really weren’t even near him.
Eric will have the full injury report and a couple minor roster additions and deletions following the post-practice interview with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.