Rookie Rawls ready for chance if Lynch can’t go for Seahawks
RENTON, Wash. (AP) Funny thing about Seattle Seahawks rookie running back Thomas Rawls. He’s not much of a fan of watching football.
He loves to play the game. And he’ll sit in meeting rooms and watch the intricacies of game film.
But when it comes to viewing games in his free time, Rawls would rather be watching something else.
”I never had a favorite team growing up. I barely watched football growing up. I still don’t watch it to this day,” Rawls said. ”I watch a lot of film and stuff like that but growing up I never really watched football like that. I know it’s kind of weird.”
While Rawls may not watch much football as a fan, he could have a large share of the attention on Monday night when the Seahawks host Detroit. With starting running back Marshawn Lynch bothered by a hamstring injury that will likely make him a game-time decision, the responsibility of being the primary ball carrier for the Seahawks fall to Rawls.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Thursday there was no new information regarding Lynch’s hamstring that he injured late in the first half of the Seahawks’ 26-0 win over Chicago last Sunday. Lynch had an MRI earlier this week.
”I know he wants to play and is determined to try and do that,” Carroll said. ”We’ll just see how it goes. It may go all the way to game time.”
”If he is questioning it, it’s a severe injury because you know he wants to be out there and contribute just as bad as anybody,” added Fred Jackson, who was also teammates with Lynch in Buffalo. ”We’ll take it day-to-day and see how it goes and if we get him out there, if we’re fortunate enough to have him on Monday, it makes us better as a team. If not, we have to pick up the slack.”
If Lynch is unable to play, the Seahawks got a glimpse last week of what Rawls can do as a replacement. Rawls became the first Seattle running back other than Lynch to rush for 100 yards since Robert Turbin late in the 2012 season. Rawls finished with 104 yards on 16 carries, 98 of those yards coming in the second half.
What impressed Carroll the most was the way Rawls finished runs, backing up what was seen on his college tape during his senior season at Central Michigan. Rawls didn’t try to avoid contact, he sought out defenders to go hit.
”Thomas was a guy I’ve been really excited to see what he would be like when he got on the field, to see if he would be aggressive and tough like we had seen. And he showed that,” Carroll said.
Rawls started his college career at Michigan, where he was mostly a backup before transferring to Central Michigan. During his senior season, Rawls rushed for 1,103 yards and 10 touchdowns in just nine games. Seattle considered using a late-round draft pick on Rawls, but general manager John Schneider believed the Seahawks could get him as an undrafted free agent.
The risk paid off and Rawls began to impress within weeks of arriving in Seattle.
”It was probably about the third week in OTAs. He knew the playbook, and he was asking all the right questions,” Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin said. ”You always want a rookie to ask questions, but it’s a different level when they ask the right questions, so that’s what stood out to me.”
NOTES: Seattle DT Brandon Mebane (groin strain) won’t have his status determined until closer to Monday’s game. Mebane left in the first quarter last week. … DE Demarcus Dobbs (shoulder) also is in question for Monday’s game. … Rookie PR/KR/WR Tyler Lockett was named the NFC special teams player of the month for September. Lockett had a punt return TD in Week 1 vs. St. Louis and last week took a kickoff back 105 yards for a TD.
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