SEATTLE – The Seahawks have officially ruled out running back Marshawn Lynch and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane for Monday night’s game against the Detroit Lions at CenturyLink Field.
The Seahawks made the news official Sunday afternoon following the team’s walk-through.
The Seahawks also added linebacker Bruce Irvin to the injury list, designating him as questionable with an ankle injury. Irvin was apparently hurt in practice this week as he had not previously been on the list.
The Seahawks had previously said Lynch would be a game-time decision with a hamstring injury suffered against the Bears last Sunday. Mebane suffered a groin injury, also against the Bears, and the team had previously said each would be a game-time decision.
But Seattle instead declared both players out Sunday after neither practiced this week. For Lynch, that means he will miss a game for the first time since Oct. 23, 2011 at Cleveland when he was a late scratch due to back spasms. He has played in 61 straight regular season games since then.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said on Saturday that an MRI on Lynch’s hamstring had revealed “some findings” of damage.
“He had one (an MRI) last week (prior to the Chicago game) and nothing showed up,” Carroll said Saturday. “And then after the game, he aggravated his hamstring in a different area than anything he had felt the week before – it happened on that play when he caught the ball on fourth down (late in the second quarter) and he had a little something. So we checked it out and there were some findings, so we’ve been working hard at trying to get him back. He’s done a really diligent job of rehabbing, so we’ll see what happens.”
The 29-year-old Lynch has 128 yards on 38 carries this season, an average of 3.4 yards per attempt, while also dealing with neck, calf and back injuries.
Lynch will be replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Thomas Rawls, who had 104 yards last week against Chicago. Rawls had 98 yards in the second half as the Seahawks pulled away for a 26-0 win.
“Hopefully we get him in a good rhythm and let him get going again,” Carroll said Saturday of Rawls.
“He was rumbling pretty good last week, and if we’re fortunate enough to see that kind of activity again this week we’ll be in good shape with him.”
Veteran Fred Jackson and fullback Derrick Coleman will also be used at tailback.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Thursday the Seahawks wouldn’t need to change their offense if they had to play without Lynch.
“We run all kinds of stuff. We’re tweaking things game-plan-wise each and every week, we’re tweaking things during a game, things come up, things happen,” Bevell said.
“You’ve lost personnel before, all of a sudden you go from having five wideouts, now you’re down to three or a tight end goes down. There’s adjustments that happen all the time, but we have a philosophy, there’s things that we like to do.
“We’re going to stick with who we are, we’re not going to, all of a sudden, become the New England Patriots if Marshawn Lynch isn’t playing, because that’s not who we are.”
As for Mebane, the team will use Jordan Hill to start in his place. Hill played the second half last week against the Bears when Mebane was sidelined and finished with four tackles, two for a loss.
Carroll said Saturday that defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs is also out with a shoulder injury suffered in that game, which means fullback Will Tukuafu will be used on defense as well as offense to add depth up front.
Tukuafu has played on defense before, getting 13 snaps in four games last year with Seattle on defense (along with what he did on offense) and also playing two snaps on defense in the Super Bowl.
David King will also have a substantial role on the line, Carroll said, with Dobbs and Mebane out .
If Irvin can’t play, then Mike Morgan will likely take over at strongside linebacker.
Seattle suddenly also could have some depth issues at linebacker as Kevin Pierre-Louis is also questionable with a knee injury and did not practice this week.
Ruling out Lynch means both teams will be without their starting running backs. Detroit earlier declared Joique Bell out with an ankle injury.
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