Turns out, not only did Marshawn Lynch sit out the Seahawks’ preseason opener at Denver, he wasn’t even here on the sidelines in his usual hoodie.
One week after he ended his mini-holdout and reported to training camp, Seattle’s star running back didn’t make the team’s trip to Colorado for Thursday’s exhibition. That may have generated some noise back home, but it’s not that big a deal. The team confirmed about a dozen other veteran Seahawks didn’t come, either, most of those either injured or — such as starting left tackle Russell Okung and starting guard James Carpenter — just coming back from being out.
Lynch got his most work so far in camp on Tuesday with a few carries and a reception during the team-scrimmaging portion of practice. On Wednesday, coach Pete Carroll said: “He’s coming along,” before adding, “he needs a lot of work to get back.”
The list of 17 Seahawks officially termed by the team as “not expected to play” Thursday night, in roster numerical order:
WR David Gilreath (concussion)
RB Marshawn Lynch
S Kam Chancellor (just back this week from hip surgery)
DB Akeem Auguste
CB Eric Pinkins
LB Mike Taylor
LB Bruce Irvin (hip surgery)
LB Malcolm Smith (ankle surgery)
LB Bobby Wagner (hamstring)
OLB Kevin Pierre-Louis (oblique strain)
LB Korey Toomer (hamstring)
C Max Unger (in street clothes on sideline Thursday, after watching walk-through practice Wednesday)
DT Jimmy Staten
T Russell Okung (just back this week from toe surgery)
G James Carpenter (just back this week from a calf injury, dressed and did pregame warmups, then in street clothes on sideline during the game)
WR Kevin Norwood (surgery this week for bone spur in foot)
DT Jordan Hill
Unger’s absence meant Lemuel Jeanpierre was the only true center in uniform Thursday. He played the entire first half, the latter part with the second team. Greg Van Roten, listed as a guard, played center after that. He allowed a drive-killing sack of Tarvaris Jackson on the first drive after halftime.
THE STARTERS, FWIW
As Carroll said Wednesday, “It’s that time of the year, for opportunity.”
Plenty got that Thursday.
The starting offense Thursday, with the makeshift, fill-in line: Alvin Bailey at left tackle; Caylin Hauptmann left guard; Lemuel Jeanpierre center; J.R. Sweezy right guard; rookie second-round pick Justin Britt at right tackle; Zach Miller tight end; Russell Wilson quarterback; Robert Turbin fullback; Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse as wide receivers.
Most of those starters played two drives, with Harvin and Turbin among the few playing less than that. By the time 2:40 remained in the first half, Jackson was in leading the second-string offense on a drive to Steven Hauschka’s 42-yard field goal just before halftime. That gave Seattle a 10-7 lead.
The starting defense: Michael Bennett, Tony McDaniel, Brandon Mebane and Cliff Avril up front; K.J. Wright and Mike Morgan flanking middle man and undrafted rookie from Montana Brock Coyle at linebacker; Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell at cornerback, Jeron Johnson and Earl Thomas at safety.
Those starters played three Broncos’ offensive drives, into the second quarter.
NOT THE WAY TO IMPRESS
Impressive so far in camp, cornerback Tharold Simon got thrown out of the game 5 minutes into the third quarter for, according to the on-field explanation of referee Tony Corrente, “striking a player” after a whistle. Simon was part of a scrap for the ball after Denver’s Kapri Bibbs crossed the goal line then lost the ball in the end zone on his touchdown run that made it 14-10 Denver.
Simon, Seattle’s fifth-round draft pick in 2013 who missed all of last year with foot injuries, got a stern talking-to from coaches on the sidelines before his forced exit.