Seattle Seahawks

Marshawn Lynch gets ‘important’ MRI on hamstring, status up in the air

Staff photographer

“Beast Mode” is now in test mode.

Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch was getting a magnetic resonance imaging examination Monday to determine the extent of his new hamstring injury, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. The team will determine his status for Monday night’s game against Detroit (0-3) after getting the results of that exam and a couple practice days this week.

Carroll termed the MRI as “important” one day after he had said the hamstring injury was “nothing to alarmed by.”

“We are taking care of him and rehabbing and seeing. His hamstring seemed to bother him a little bit in the middle of the game,” Carroll said one day after Seattle’s first win this season, 26-0, over Chicago in the Seahawks’ home opener. “Fortunately we have an extra day (before the Lions game), which helps a little bit.”

But Carroll added “we really won’t know” on Lynch until later this week.

Lynch, 29, got an MRI late last week on his calf, after missing a midweek practice for that.

“The calf thing is resolving,” Carroll said.

Carroll noted Lynch rarely practices much during the middle of game weeks, anyway, “so we’ve got some time to figure it out. We really probably won’t know until Friday.”

The Seahawks (1-2) are off from practice Tuesday and Wednesday, then practice Thursday, Friday and Saturday with a walkthrough Sunday for the Monday night game.

The Seahawks’ star missed the first 12 minutes of Sunday’s game against Chicago two days after Seattle had listed Lynch as questionable to play with a calf injury. Carroll said Lynch “just couldn’t get going” during his usual pregame “protocol” in the locker room. He left the locker room with just over 8 minutes remaining in the first quarter wearing a cape with a hood up over his helmet and full pads, like some kind of blue superhero. He entered for the first time with 3 minutes, 9 seconds left in the opening period and ran for 8 yards off left tackle on his initial play. He ran four more times for a total of 6 yards the rest of the first half.

On fourth and 1 with 26 seconds left in the second quarter Lynch shifted outside from the backfield then caught Russell Wilson’s pass for a 9-yard gain and first down. Lynch bobbled the ball before securing that catch. He also felt a pain in his hamstring on the play, Carroll said Monday.

He did not play at all in the second half, when Seattle turned a 6-0 lead into a rout.

Undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls rushed for 104 yards on 16 carries in Lynch’s place, plowing through Bears with a punishing style Carroll likened to a bull trying to gore people. Rawls is the early-down runner behind Lynch, and 34-year-old Fred Jackson is the third-down back for the passing game even when Lynch is healthy.

It’s the first hamstring issue Carroll or anyone knows Lynch having since he joined the Seahawks early in the 2010 season in a trade from Buffalo. The five-time Pro Bowl runner has missed just one game in six seasons with Seattle, in October 2011 at Cleveland because of back spasms.

In Seattle’s previous game, Sept. 20 at Green Bay, Lynch missed one series in the third quarter with what Carroll later said was neck pain. So that’s three injuries in eight days for him. Trainers were also rubbing his lower back on the sidelines during the Bears game, as is normal for Lynch.

Asked what his level of concern was for the hamstring injury to what has been the cornerstone of the Seahawks’ offense and Carroll’s style of play for years, the coach shrugged.

“We’ll wait and see,” he said. “The MRI will be important though, when we get the results back from that.”


Carroll said NT Brandon Mebane strained his groin “and we need to see how that feels in a couple days, too. He was getting around OK (Monday), from what the trainers said. We’ll have to wait and see.” Jordan Hill replaced Mebane in the first half against Chicago and played as well as he has since Hill strained his calf and missed all of last season’s playoffs. … The coach said No. 2 tight end Luke Willson is likely to play against the Lions. He missed the Chicago game with back spasms, but Carroll said Willson could have played if absolutely needed. … Carroll said Tyler Lockett’s team-record 105-yard touchdown against Chicago “was as clean a kickoff return as we’ve ever had” for its blocking and the speed at which Lockett caught the ball 5 yards deep in the end zone. Carroll told the rookie to return that second-half kickoff if it ended anywhere more than a yard or so from the back line of the end zone, in hopes of giving the Seahawks’ a jolt. He sure did, turning what had been a 6-0 slog into a 14-point rally in the third quarter.