The Seahawks view the third-down back as a very specific and important role, and all signs point to C.J. Prosise having that role. If Thomas Rawls and Alex Collins end up being 1-2 on the depth chart as the first- and second-down back, so to speak—though don’t count Christine Michael out in that battle—Prosise would still have a significant role in the offense in passing situations and in the hurry up offense, similar to how the Seahawks used Fred Jackson last season.
Jackson averaged 2.0 catches per game last season, so the Seahawks' third-down back isn't necessarily a role where fantasy owners can find a startable PPR back on the cheap.
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.
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.
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.