Thomas Rawls and futures contract signing Cameron Marshall are the only two running backs of any kind currently under contract with Seattle for the 2016 season. Bryce Brown, Fred Jackson and fullback Will Tukuafu are all unrestricted free agents while Christine Michael and fullback Derrick Coleman are restricted free agents.
Rawls is also coming off a broken ankle that ended his rookie season after 830 yards and four touchdowns in seven starts replacing an injured Lynch.
While Rawls showed special qualities as a rookie and the Seahawks believe he will be ready for the start of training camp, they aren’t putting all their eggs in one basket either.
“He definitely has the talent to (take over for Lynch), but we’re going to get a couple people in there to compete with him,” general manager John Schneider said Wednesday. “And he’s recovering from a significant injury as well too. He’s a fun kid and a really talented guy. I just can’t tell you that (he’ll succeed) right now. I’d go to (Las) Vegas if I could tell you that.”
Despite Schneider's comments, with Marshawn Lynch out of the way, Rawls is first in line for workhorse back duties given his performance in 2015. In the six games in which Rawls played and Lynch did not, the rookie averaged 20.5 touches for 120 yards and 0.84 touchdowns (on a stellar 5.6 YPC). That doesn't even include Week 3, when he turned 16 carries into 104 yards while Lynch was limited to five carries. A fractured ankle ended his season, but it didn't require surgery and he should be ready to for training camp. If he's fully healthy, Rawls' ADP should climb into the 3rd round or higher.
Lynch probably won't see his usual workload since Christine Michael is playing pretty well and Lynch is coming off of a long layoff. We do expect Lynch to lead the backfield in touches.
Lynch has not played in a game since Nov. 15, and he underwent abdominal surgery Nov. 25. He had been rehabbing in San Francisco but rejoined the team for workouts and practices this week.
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.
Over the past three games, Michael has seen 13.0 carries for 64 yards with a total of two catches for 14 yards. Brown has averaged 8.7 carries for 24 yards and scored a touchdown. In fact, he saw seven red zone touches over that span compared to just three for Michael. Fred Jackson led the Seattle running backs with eight catches for 66 yards over the three game span.
Even without Thomas Rawls and Marshawn Lynch, they were able to run the ball effectively with Christine Michael and Bryce Brown. Derrick Coleman got five carries (10 yards) on the first drive, but did not touch the ball after that.
Instead, it was Michael and Brown combining for 25 carries. Michael played on 24 snaps and Brown 22.
Michael led the team with 16 carries for 84 yards (5.3 YPC). It's telling that 11 of those attempts came in the second half. Clearly, the coaches were liking what they saw from Michael and wanted to give him more opportunities, the story said. But something to keep in mind is Brown (9-43-0) had not carried the ball in an NFL game in over a year. Brown said he felt anxious beforehand but got more comfortable as the game went on, the story pointed out. Based on Week 15, Michael seems to be the safer play heading into Week 16.
Saturday, December 19, 2015, 2:16pm
On Friday as he spoke with a few reporters, Coleman said he’s confident the job can get done without Lynch and Rawls.
“We are not going to be the weakest link,’’ Coleman said, mentioning the likes of Michael and Brown. “We are going to go out there and do our job and do what we can do.’’
The story said HC Pete Carroll has sounded enamored with Coleman this week, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he has a big role against the Browns. This situation is very much up in the air as Brown, Fred Jackson and Michael will likely all be involved in some capacity as well, making all of them risky fantasy plays.
Friday, December 18, 2015, 6:32pm
Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (abdomen, out) was ruled out for Week 15. Bryce Brown, Fred Jackson and Christine Michael will be in the mix for touches. Our money is on Brown, since the team signed him before adding Michael later in the week. The team has said in the past that Jackson’s role wouldn’t change much (i.e. they don’t view him as an every-down back). HC Pete Carroll spoke very favorably of Brown while lowering expectations for Michael in his return to Seattle. Brown tore it up for 347 yards and four touchdowns on 43 carries in a two-game span while he was with the Eagles in 2012. He has had six other games with at least 60 total yards, so if he’s given most of Thomas Rawls’ workload, we believe he’ll produce. He is the definition of a risk/reward play in Week 15.
Thursday, December 17, 2015, 6:06pm
Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) was ruled out for Week 15. It looks like Bryce Brown, Fred Jackson and Christine Michael will be in the mix for touches. Our money is on Brown, since the team signed him before adding Michael later in the week. The team has said in the past that Jackson’s role wouldn’t change much (i.e. they don’t view him as an every-down back).
HC Pete Carroll announces signing of RB Christine Michael.
What's old is new again. Michael was signed after Bryce Brown, so in theory, the Seahawks think more highly of Brown, though that's speculation. It was looking like Brown would be a near shoo-in for 15-20 touches, but now that Michael is back, anything could happen. According to beat writer Bob Condotta, "familiarity" was a big reason that Michael was re-signed.
With the release of JuJuan Harris, it looks like Brown will get a bulk of the work in Week 15.
The move came two days after Harris carried 18 times for 42 yards and fumbled against the Baltimore Ravens.
Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that Marshawn Lynch will be rehabbing off-site from surgery associated with a sports hernia injury and indicated that the star running back still has work to do before getting back on the field.
Harris was going to be a popular waiver pickup, but the move now leaves Brown as the most likely candidate to carry the load Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Brown also has had fumbling issues throughout his career. Seattle has Fred Jackson on the roster, but Carroll said he would likely continue in his third-down role. In a pinch, the Seahawks could turn to fullback Derrick Coleman. And it's possible they make another move this week at running back.
The Seattle Seahawks plan to sign running back Bryce Brown after losing Thomas Rawls for the season, according to reports from CBS draft analyst Rob Rang and NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. Rang was first to report the news.
Rawls suffered a broken and torn ligaments in his ankle in the first quarter of Sunday's road win over the Baltimore Ravens.
That leaves the Seahawks very thin at running back. Fourth-stringer DuJuan Harris had 18 carries for 42 yards without a touchdown Sunday. He also had a fumble inside the red zone. Fred Jackson, 34, added seven carries for 15 yards.
During his weekly appearance Monday on 710 ESPN Seattle's Brock and Salk, Carroll declined to confirm the Brown signing, but he did say that "stuff will happen through Tuesday."
Brown certainly has the skills but was considered raw when the Eagles took him in the seventh round a few years back. But he played well at times with the Birds before getting traded to Buffalo. Fumbles have been his big issue throughout his career, though. Reports said this would be a committee situation with whomever the Seahawks decided on, which now appears to be Harris, Brown and Fred Jackson splitting the workload, if the report is true. Seattle is expected to ride the hot hand of Russell Wilson to close the regular season and hope Marshawn Lynch comes back for the playoffs. We'll continue to break down this situation throughout the week, but it appears the team will trust Harris to get the bulk of the early down work.
The broken ankle, along with ligament damage, will sideline Thomas Rawls for the remainder of the season, coach Pete Carroll said. On Sunday, the Seahawks went with DuJuan Harris (18 carries, 42 yards) and Fred Jackson (seven carries, 15 yards). But now they'll have to consider adding a running back to the mix as they try to make a run in the NFC.
The hope is Marshawn Lynch is back for the playoffs but there's no set timetable and they won't rush him back, the story added. The team worked out Hunter, Gray and Pead at various times this season and of course Michael is a former Seahawk (the story considers him a longshot). Brown has been on the off the roster this year. He has skills but fumbling issues. The story pointed out the team liked Harris above all of these guys since he was still on the roster. And, the author guessed the Seahawks will sign either one of the players listed above or someone off another team's practice squad and go with a running-back-by-committee approach for the next couple of weeks. Considering how Russell Wilson is playing and the fact the next two opponents (Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams) are a combined 8-18, the Seahawks should be able to hold on to a wild card spot even if their run game takes a hit. It appears to be good news for the Seattle passing game.
Sunday, November 1, 2015, 3:09pm
Tuesday, October 27, 2015, 6:58pm
Brown was let go by the Bills following Week 1 and had gone unclaimed until this week. Jackson has underperformed as a third-string back for the Seahawks (54 yards in seven games), while Thomas Rawls (65 carries, 366 yards) has taken meaningful carries away from the oft-injured Marshawn Lynch.
The story said Brown's signing could spell the end of the line for Jackson in the Emerald City, who was involved in a single-car crash last week outside the Seahawks' facility, but it is more likely an indication that Pete Carroll is stocking up on insurance for Beast Mode. Brown's downfall is his history of fumbling problems with the Bills and Eagles.
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