Marshawn Lynch was getting a magnetic resonance imaging examination on Monday to determine the extent of his new hamstring injury, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. The team will determine his status for next Monday night’s game against Detroit after that exam and a couple practice days this week.
Carroll termed the MRI as “important.”
The NFL’s leading rusher since 2011 missed the first 12 minutes of Sunday’s 26-0 win over 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 blue cape with a hood up over his helmet and full pads. He entered for the first time with 3:09 left in the opening period and ran for 8 yards off left tackle on his first play. He ran four more times for a combined 6 yards in the first half.
Then on a fourth-and-1 play 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, and 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 its rout.
Undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls rushed for 104 yards on 16 carries in Lynch’s place, plowing through Bears with a punishing style Carroll on Monday likened to a bull trying to gore people.
It’s the first hamstring issue Carroll or anyone knows Lynch, 29, 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 since then, in October 2011 at Cleveland because of back spasms.
“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. “Fortunately we have an extra day (before the Lions game), which helps a little bit, but we really won’t know (until later in the week).”
Lynch got an MRI late last week on his calf.
“The calf thing is resolving,” Carroll said.
Carroll noted Lynch rarely practices much during the middle of game weeks, “so we’ve got some time to figure it out. We really probably won’t know until Friday.”
The team is off from practice Tuesday and Wednesday, then practice Thursday, Friday and Saturday with a walkthrough Sunday for the Monday night game.
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 nose tackle Brandon Mebane strained his groin “and we need to see how that feels in a couple days, too. He was getting around OK today, 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 he strained his calf and missed all of last season’s playoffs.
The coach said No. 2 tight end Luke Willson is likely to play next week against the Lions. He missed the Chicago game with back spams, but Carroll said Willson could have played if absolutely needed.