Marshawn Lynch is heading to Philadelphia to see a specialist about his abdominal injury he first felt 10 days ago, leaving his Seahawks’ season if not his career in doubt.
Coach Pete Carroll said following Sunday’s 29-13 victory against San Francisco that Lynch missed and in which rookie fill-in Thomas Rawls romped for a Seattle rookie-record 209 yards rushing that the team isn’t ruling out any possibility for Lynch going forward.
That includes a possible diagnosis for a sports hernia and a potential surgery that would end Lynch’s season.
“We rested him all week and rehabbed him all week long, and really the first time he took a real look at it was out here before the game. He just couldn’t get going,” Carroll said. “So we’re going to try to take care of him. He’s going to make a trip on Monday to go see Dr. Meyers back in Philadelphia and see if we can figure out what’s going on.
“There’s a lot going on there, so we’ve got to see what that means.”
Dr. William C. Meyers is known as an expert on core-muscle injuries such as sports hernias.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons define a sports hernia as “painful, soft tissue injury that occurs in the groin area. It most often occurs during sports that require sudden changes of direction or intense twisting movements.”
The AAOS says it differs from a traditional, abdominal hernia in that it “is a strain or tear of any soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament) in the lower abdomen or groin area.” Treatment includes endoscopic surgery that usually sidelines athletes six to 12 weeks, the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons state.
“Nothing’s ruled out at this point,” Carroll said when asked specifically of the possibility Lynch has a sports hernia and/or may need surgery. “We will have to wait and see.
“This will be a really important couple days for him. We’ll know something by Wednesday probably.
“These injuries — I’ve been around a lot of them — they have a way of being really difficult to figure out, from outside. The surgery thing is always an option here. There’s some other things that they’ll take a look at. It’s hard to detect what it is at this point. The specialist will let us know more, so otherwise I can’t tell you.”
Carroll said the idea to send Lynch back to Dr. Meyers in Philadelphia was in the works even before he sat out Sunday’s win.
The NFL’s rushing leader and touchdown maker since 2011 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. He played through the abdominal pain last weekend in the loss to NFC West-leading Arizona. He had eight carries for 42 yards in that game. His only fewer rushes this season came when rushed five times Sept. 27 while missing three quarters of that win over Chicago with his calf and hamstring problems.
Lynch turns 30 next April. He has an $11.5 million cap number for 2016, $9 million of it in base salary on the two-year extension he signed in March. Few if any around the team expect Lynch to play both those years of that deal; one of the motivations for getting it was it gave him $5 million more guaranteed this year.