Despite status of Lynch, Seahawks have top backup plan with Rawls

Thomas Rawls rushed for more than 100 yards in four of his seven starts for the Seahawks.
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The future of running back Marshawn Lynch will be the No. 1 storyline for the Seattle Seahawks this offseason.

Any conversation regarding Lynch will have to include Thomas Rawls, who made an injured Lynch look expendable before suffering a broken ankle that ended his stellar rookie season in Week 14.

While Seahawks coach Pete Carroll offered a simple "I don’t know" when discussing Lynch’s role for next season at Monday’s wrap-up session with the media, he was enthused about the prospect of a healthy Rawls returning.

"It will be really fun to put him back out there and see how he does," Carroll said. "Now we know what we have, so it’ll be even more exciting. He’s confident that he’ll get it done, and he’s got plenty of time. So that should be a really interesting spot.”

An undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan, Rawls was perhaps the biggest surprise of the preseason. He impressed the Seahawks enough for them to trade Christine Michael and waive Robert Turbin.

Rawls justified the team’s faith in him by rushing for more than 100 yards in four of his seven starts while running with a ferocity that drew comparisons to Lynch. During a three-game span before he was injured, Rawls rushed for 391 yards and three touchdowns on 70 carries, showing he can handle the starting job.

“I think if you ask anybody that, anybody would say yes,” said Rawls, who was wearing a cast on his ankle Monday in the team’s locker room. “I’ve got a lot of confidence, but I just go out there and work, man.”