Marshawn Lynch's load lightened a little so far for Seahawks

Staff writerOctober 9, 2013 

Part of Darrell Bevell’s livelihood as offensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks is fielding questions about why this guy or that guy didn’t get the ball.

He had a fun round of it Wednesday. Bevell was asked about running back Marshawn Lynch and wide receivers Sidney Rice and Jermaine Kearse. He even ended up mentioning wide receiver Golden Tate and quarterback Russell Wilson scampering around as if something’s ablaze.

Bevell eventually included a trite but accurate statement: there’s only one ball.

After the Seahawks’ 34-28 loss to the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday, there was curiosity about why Lynch did not have his hands on that one ball more often.

In the first half, he carried 11 times for 76 yards. In the second, six times for 26 yards.

“We’re just playing each game as it comes,” Bevell said. “We’re not projecting it through the long haul. We’re not trying to see if he has 1,000 carries or not. We’re just trying to win each and every game.”

For Lynch, his workload this season has not been out of the norm. He’s averaging 19.2 carries a game through the first five games. Last year, he averaged 19.7 carries a game during the regular season.

That average was driven down by two late-season blowouts – a 58-0 Week 13 win over Arizona and a 50-7 win at Buffalo in Week 14. Lynch totaled 21 carries for both. With those two games removed, Lynch averaged 21 carries a game in 2012. His season-high was 27 against the Jets.

In four of five games this season, Lynch has carried 17 times. His average was increased by his 28 carries in Week 2 against San Francisco – his most carries since Nov. 13, 2011, when he had 32 carries in a win over Baltimore. Those totals, 28 and 32, are the most he has carried since he joined the Seahawks in 2010.

“It’s been pretty moderate so far, just by the way the games have gone,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “But, he’s been very effective and he’s been right around 100 yards the last three weeks, and all of that’s going fine.”

Lynch is on pace for 307 carries. He finished the 2012 regular season with 315. The only thing that is down significantly for him is his yards-per-carry average. It’s 4.3 this season, down from the powerful 5.0 of the 2012 season.

Despite that, Lynch is third in the league in rushing yards with 410. He’s sixth in average per carry among running backs with at least 80 carries.

“If he’s got to get the ball 30 times in a game, he’s ready to go,” Carroll said. “We’re not holding him back any, we’re just running the offense and playing the situations out. He’s doing really well and he’s on it right now. So we’ll see what happens.”


Injured right tackle Breno Giacomini (knee) was back in the locker room Wednesday. He returned from New York on Saturday after having surgery to clean up “loose bodies” around his knee. He was hit in the knee and hyperextended it during the Jacksonville game in Week 3. … Tight end Zach Miller (hamstring) and linebacker Bobby Wagner (high ankle sprain) will be game-time decisions this week. If Wagner can’t play, K.J. Wright will likely slide into the middle with Malcolm Smith filling Wright’s spot. … Pro Bowl center Max Unger (triceps) participated fully in practice Wednesday. He was inactive the past two games. … Carroll said he thinks it’s “unrealistic” that wide receiver Percy Harvin (hip surgery) will be ready to play in Week 7 against Arizona. That would be the earliest Harvin would be eligible to come off injured reserve.

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