The Puget Sound’s long civic wait is apparently about to end.
Marshawn Lynch is finally rejoining the Seahawks ... they think.
Coach Pete Carroll said following the team’s New Year’s Day practice Seattle’s star running back has done all there is to do in his rehabilitation with his personal trainers in the Bay Area and the team expects Lynch to rejoin it on Monday. That will be the first day of preparations for the Seahawks’ playoff opener Jan. 9 or 10.
“I have an expectation of that. Let me say, I’m anticipating that.” Carroll said of Lynch’s expected arrival Monday.
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The coach spoke before the Seahawks flew to Arizona later Friday for Sunday’s regular-season finale.
Lynch hasn’t played since Nov. 15, a home loss to the NFC West-champion Cardinals. He had abdominal surgery in Philadelphia Nov. 25. He spent the next week there starting his rehabilitation, then went home to Oakland and continued his recovery and workouts with the same San Francisco trainers that have gotten him ready for each of the previous several seasons with the Seahawks. He’s believed to have been inside Seahawks headquarters for one of the last 41 days ending Friday.
The Seahawks have been relying on trainer Tareq Azim and his staff in San Francisco for updates on Lynch’s progress and readiness to rejoin the team.
“The reports that we got (Friday), the latest update (Friday) is that he’s really doing well,” Carroll said of the NFL’s leading rusher and touchdown maker from 2011 until this, the first injury-filled season of his nine-year career. “He’s done about all he can do at that end of it. That’s great to hear. We’ll see what that means here in the next couple of days.
“He’s really tried to get back as soon as possible. He’s having that kind of success, and the workouts are not setting him back. We’re hoping that means that he has a chance to get back to us next week.”
SWEEZY OUT, OKUNG DOUBTFUL
The Seahawks are likely to be missing 40 percent of their starting offensive line on Sunday at Arizona. Right guard J.R. Sweezy is out with a concussion. Left tackle Russell Okung is doubtful to play because of strained calf that caused him to miss last weekend’s loss to St. Louis.
“Doesn’t look like he can go,” Carroll said of Okung, who returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday then missed Thursday and Friday.
Rookie Mark Glowinski is likely to get his first career start, for Sweezy. Alvin Bailey will likely start again for Okung.
Carroll said the Seahawks “missed” noticing Sweezy finished last weekend’s game with a concussion. He played all 72 snaps on offense against the Rams. The team added him to its injury and practice-participation report on Wednesday afternoon.
“It was Wednesday’s (morning) walkthrough. I was watching him and he looked like he was ... he just looked different,” Carroll said. “I asked trainers to take a look at him and we started talking to him and he definitely had concussion symptoms that he didn’t recognize and he didn’t report. We missed it on Monday, and Tuesday we didn’t see him. As soon as he got here and ran around with him, we could tell something was up, so we had to dump him right into the (league’s concussion) protocol and see what we could get done with him.
“He will not play this week. We’ll see what happens next week.”
Glowinski was the second of the Seahawks’ two picks in the fourth round of May’s draft. He started all 25 games of his two seasons at West Virginia after two seasons at Lackawanna College near his home in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
He’s played eight games this season on special games. His NFL experience at guard is one play, Nov. 22 when he briefly replaced Sweezy in the home win over San Francisco.
“He hasn’t had a lot of game time work since preseason,” Carroll said. “We do see him every day. He’s a real battler and he’s a very technique-sound kid and he’s got a chance to help us. I’m really excited about him getting a chance to play. This is a great opportunity for him. It’s also a great opportunity for us to see him under these kinds of conditions (against a division champion with a swarming, blitzing defense). It’s the maximum challenge for the guy, but he’s tough and he’s done a lot of cool things since he’s been here.
“It’s his turn. We’re really looking forward to seeing him play.”
▪ Carroll hinted SS Kam Chancellor may play Sunday for the first time since he bruised his tailbone early in the win at Baltimore Dec. 13.
“He made it through the week and looked good. He’s got a chance to play in the game, so we’re really excited about getting him back,” the coach said. “I know he’s really looking forward to playing. We’ll see what happens. We had a good, fast day (Friday), a good effort day today, so we’ll see how he is (Saturday). Good indications he’s got a chance to play.”
▪ Michael Bennett will play, Carroll said. The Pro Bowl defensive end with 9 1/2 sacks this season went away from the team to have an injection into his troublesome toe on Wednesday.
▪ DT Jordan Hill is going to play Sunday for the first time in five games. He’s been out for a month with an injury to his big toe.
“It’s been a long while for him out, and he’s been a nice player for us,” Carroll said. “We’re looking forward to him getting back.”
▪ Here is the Cardinals’ injury report. And you can see they have only a few starters banged-up enough to possibly rest as they play with a chance to get the NFC’s top playoff seed and home-field advantage throughout the postseason: