Marshawn Lynch was inactive as the Seahawks were kicking off Sunday against San Francisco because of abdominal injury the NFL’s rushing leader and top touchdown maker since 2011 first felt 10 days earlier. So it was time for undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls again as Seattle’s lead running back.
The 29-year-old Lynch has been inactive for three games this season and missed about three-fourths of a fourth contest last month against Chicago. Lynch missed just one game in his first five seasons with the Seahawks.
He’s had calf, hamstring, nausea and now abdominal issues over the last two months while rushing for 3.8 yards per carry, almost a full yard below what he averaged last season.
Rawls had two 100-yard games last month while Lynch was out, against the Bears and at Cincinnati. Until last week he, not Lynch, was Seattle’s leading rusher this season.
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San Francisco allowed Atlanta just 17 total yards rushing on 14 carries in its last game, a win two weeks ago.
Wide receiver Paul Richardson was also inactive for Seattle. He strained his hamstring on his only catch and target this season last weekend against Arizona. That was one day after the second-round draft choice in 2014 came off the physically-unable-to-perform list he’d been on all season.
The rest of the Seahawks’ inactives: LB Bruce Irvin (sprained knee ligament, may miss next week against Pittsburgh, too), rookie CB Tye Smith, C Drew Nowak, OL Kristjan Sokoli and new DT A.J. Francis, signed off waivers from Miami this past week.
The 49ers are without leading rusher Carlos Hyde because of a stress fracture in his foot. Shaun Draughn was San Francisco’s lead back Sunday. Veteran WR Anquan Boldin had been questionable but was active.