SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — Injury-depleted Seattle’s signing of Marshawn Lynch became the Tuesday focus of the conversations surrounding Sunday NFC West title showdown between the Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers.
Seattle found itself in desperate need of running backs after Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise both suffered season-ending injuries in last week’s 27-13 loss to Arizona. So they called Lynch, who last played early in the 2018 season with his hometown Oakland Raiders.READ MORE: 'Amazon One' Contactless Payment Palm Reader Debuts On Santana Row In San Jose
Lynch flew up to Seattle on Monday and agreed to a deal to once again join the Seahawks for Sunday’s regular season finale and the playoffs. Lynch last played for Seattle in 2016.
“We’ve always, from a distance, kept connections with Marshawn,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said on a conference call with Bay Area media on Tuesday. “When he came back to Oakland and went through all that. We connected at times. This is a relationship that had some kind of roots to it.”
The best stretch of Lynch’s career came during his six seasons in Seattle. He arrived via trade from Buffalo early in the 2010 season and became the face of a franchise filled with stars during his time. Sometimes difficult to deal with, but almost always productive on the field, Lynch rushed for 6,347 yards and 57 touchdowns in the regular season during his time in Seattle.
Lynch will always be remembered for his touchdown run in the 2010 playoffs against New Orleans that helped establish the “Beast Mode” persona. It was the top of the long list of highlights with the Seahawks.
But the last time Lynch had any contact was when he was injured in Game 6 of the 2018 season. He decided to retire from football after the season and has since been tending to his businesses in Oakland including being a part-owner of an indoor football team — the Oakland Panthers.READ MORE: UPDATE: Oakland City Council Meeting Debates Adding Police After Spike in Homicides
When asked what kind of shape Lynch was in, Carroll responded: “He had a nice little workout yesterday.”
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan also was asked about Lynch at his Tuesday news conference.
“I saw the backs they lost so I knew they were going to sign someone,” he said. “And they signed a good one. I know Marshawn will come in and he’ll be ready, regardless how much time he has had off. Marshawn is a competitor, he’s a battler so I think it was smart of them.”
Shanahan said Lynch being a running back will make it easier for him to get into the flow of the Seahawks offense.
“It is a huge challenge, it depends on how much those guys (Lynch and former and recently signed Seattle running back Robert Turbin) have been working out,” the 49ers head coach said. “I do think it’s a little different with a running back position. There is a lot that goes into people understanding the scheme and the game plan. But you can use a running back a lot easier just depending on you handing him the ball and he needs to run. You can guys up to speed a lot faster.”
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“I don’t think we should ever set expectations too low for Marshawn,” he said. “We are just going to go in and try to win a football game.”