RENTON C.J. Prosise has yet another, “significant” injury.
Thomas Rawls? All good, man. All good.
“Oh, I’m fine,” the Seahawks’ supposed lead running back said cordially on Wednesday before heading out to practice for Sunday night’s home game against Indianapolis--which, judging by his surprising season so far, he may or may not play.
“I trust the coaches,” Rawls said. “I trust the process.”
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That’s true faith.
Rawls was the NFL’s leading in yards per carry in 2015 as an undrafted rookie and heir to Marshawn Lynch, before he broke his ankle late that season. In 2016 he cracked a bone in his leg in week 2 and wasn’t right until December. He entered this preseason as Seattle’s No.-1 back, then got a high ankle sprain and missed a month.
He had five carries and 4 yards through three games. He played just one of the Seahawks’ 73 offensive plays last weekend at Tennessee. Rookie Chris Carson again was the lead runner.
Yet Wednesday, the often-irrepressible Rawls was that again: nothing but positive on what’s ahead for him in 2017.
“I know my role in this offense,” he said.
“And also I know it’s a looooong season, too. That’s one experience that I do know, going into my third year.”
He’s right about that. Thirteen games remain. Seattle’s offense has yet to use its running game well, or, more accurately, as plannned.
The Seahawks have had 90 minutes of second-half play this season. They’ve been leading in only 9 minutes, 41 seconds of those 90 minutes: for 2:35 early in third quarter at Tennessee, and for the final 7:06 of the win over San Francisco two weeks ago.
Rawls figured to get the early-game carries, and Eddie Lacy that later ones, to set Carroll’s intended tone of establishing the run and winning with field position and defense. Instead the Seahawks so far have chosen to ride Carson, who has been impressing them since the first week of training camp with his decisive, one-cut-and-go! running. He has 37 rushes for 166 yards in a Seattle offense that had improving from being 25th ranked in the NFL in rushing last season as a top priority in 2017. The Seahawks are 18th now, at 96.7 yards per game. Take out quarterback Russell Wilson’s 100 yards through three games on mostly scrambling away from opposing pass rushers and Seattle would be 30th in the league in rushing, at 63.3 yards per game by its running backs.
Lacy, the two-time 1,100-yard rusher with Green Bay whom Seattle signed this spring to compete with Rawls for the leading role, has 5 carries for 3 yards this season. He was a healthy inactive two weeks ago for the 49ers game, then was active but did not play last weekend against the Titans.
It’s been Carson. The impressive, rookie seventh-round pick has 37 of the 55 carries so far this season by Seahawks’ running backs, for 166 of the backs’ 193 yards through three games.
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Rawls was asked what the offense’s rotation is now for the running backs.
“Not sure. Not sure,” Rawls said.
“I just know everybody’s got to be ready, and be prepared. Not sure about the rotation, and things like that. Or in the future. I don’t even know.”
Rawls may get far more carries than zero on Sunday against the Colts. Prosise has a “significant” ankle injury he got while catching a flipped pass from Wilson for 11 yards with 8 1/2 minutes left in last weekend’s 33-27 loss to the Titans. That was coach Pete Carroll’s news from Wednesday press conference.
“He’s got an ankle that we are concerned about,” Carroll said. “We’ll see how it goes, give him a couple days before we have to declare what’s going on with him. But he’s got a significant ankle.”
I asked offensive coordinator and play caller Darrell Bevell how hampering it is for continuity and game planning that a large, specialty and talented piece of each game’s set of plays is getting hurt so often.
“Well, I was excited that he made it three (games without getting hurt to start this season),” Bevell said. “That was probably the most that we have had him.
“But he is such a special talent and he does a lot of great things for us. So it is definitely a blow to you when you lose a guy like that. But it is obviously someone that maybe you can’t count on all the time.”
“We don’t know if he is going to be in this game or not. We will see how well he progresses during the week, but if he makes it back, he makes it back. But he gives us a nice package, a nice dynamic player with all the different things he can do. He runs the ball really well, but catching the ball outside is a big deal as well.”
When he’s on field, that is. Here are the injuries Prosise has had in the last 24 months:
2015 at Notre Dame:
2016 with Seahawks:
3. Hip flexor
2017 with Seahawks: