By John Boyle
The Seahawks held what was more or less a walkthrough practice Friday in preparation for Saturday’s mock game, and while Marshawn Lynch was back with his team having ended his week-long holdout a day earlier, he did not participate, though he should be back on the field soon.
“He didn’t practice today, but he’ll be ready to practice soon,” said Seahawks running backs coach Sherman Smith. “It’s just good to have him back here.”
You might find this hard to believe, but Lynch did not speak to reporters Friday, but Smith was happy to talk about getting his starting running back back in uniform.
“It’s evident what he means to our team,” Smith said. “He brings toughness to our team; our run game is predicated on Marshawn’s running style and what he does, so he’s a special guy for us. I’m just glad he’s back, and we look forward to getting him ready for our Thursday night game against Green Bay.”
Asked his reaction to Lynch returning, Smith said, “It’s relief that you have one of your best players back, but excitement also because Christine and Turbo have been doing a great job in practice, and they’ve been getting ready to play. We’re better with Marshawn, he’s one of the best backs in the league, but we were going to try to get the job done if he wasn’t here.”
Lynch won’t be rushed back into action, nor will he play a lot in the preseason, but that’s nothing new for the veteran back.
“We’re just going to get him ready,” Smith said. “The goal is to get him ready for our Thursday night (regular season opening) game against Green Bay, but he’ll be practicing soon… Marshawn doesn’t do a lot of running in the preseason, so that’s the way it’s going to be. Nothing’s going to change, absolutely nothing.
The ankle injury that kept Lynch out of last month’s minicamp is not a concern, however.
“No, he’s been cleared to practice,” Smith said. “So we’re looking forward to him getting out there getting some reps. I can’t wait to see it.”
And Smith said the Seahawks aren’t overly concerned about the time Lynch missed: “He’s a veteran player, he understands what he needs to do to get ready, he understands the offense, so he’ll be fine. We’re not worried about that part of it.”
Running back Robert Turbin, who has been splitting first-team duty with Christine Michael in Lynch’s absence, said the return of the Pro Bowl back is “Good for the team, it’s good for the fans.”
“He works hard, he brings a passion to the game, a toughness to the backfield. He has a lot of respect amongst his peers. It’s good. It’s good for the team.”