Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls hauled in a swing pass in the right flat early in the third quarter, and moved upfield.
Philadelphia linebacker Nigel Bradham came up, anticipating that the Seattle ball carrier would make a move toward the sideline.
Except that didn’t happen — Rawls barreled right through him to finish off a 9-yard gain.
That was the type of contact Christine Michael inexplicably became unwilling to take on any longer. Consequently, he is no longer with the team as he was put on waivers last week.
That is the style Rawls said he’ll continue to deliver, as long as he can stay healthy.
The wait on Rawls’ return was well worth it: In action for the first time since mid-September, the 23-year-old saw a team-high 39 snaps at tailback, rushing for 57 yards on 14 carries.
His 17 touches were the most since last December when he touched the ball 22 times in a 38-7 victory at Minnesota – rushing for 101 yards on 19 carries.
“Thomas Rawls is like a ram,” Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor said. “Once he sees you, he aims at you.
“If you have red on, watch out for the bull.”
Rawls injured his leg in the second game of the season at the Los Angeles Rams, and never returned. It was later determined he had a cracked fibula, keeping him out for two months.
On Rawls’ return this week, coach Pete Carroll said the team would limit his workload rotating in with C.J. Prosise.
Prosise played seven of the first eight snaps of the game. One of them was a 72-yard touchdown run just 4:58 into action.
On the Seahawks’ fourth offensive series, Rawls was given carries on five consecutive plays. One of them was an 18-yard run off a cutback left.
“He just brings that physical mentality, even if it is a short run — he makes sure that defense feels it,” Seahawks right tackle Garry Gilliam said.
“I think you saw a more physical game than you’ve seen most of the year.”
It was on the first play of the final drive of the half that Prosise went to the sideline grabbing his shoulder. Carroll said after the game that the rookie will be sidelined indefinitely.
In the second half, Rawls was on the field for 27 snaps, seeing eight carries and catching two passes.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, third-string back Troymaine Pope left the game with an ankle injury, meaning Rawls was the only remaining healthy running back active (although backup quarterback Trevone Boykin lined up for two plays at tailback).
“I played 40 (snaps)?” Rawls asked rhetorically in disbelief. “I am not sure if that was in the game plan. Like I tell you guys, whatever it takes. And with the mentality like that, and my work ethic, it doesn’t matter.
“In the meantime, I am going to have to hold down this backfield.”
Like a battering ram.