Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) tries to evade the tackle of Carolina’s Cortland Finnegan (26) on Jan. 17, 2016, in Charlotte, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) tries to evade the tackle of Carolina’s Cortland Finnegan (26) on Jan. 17, 2016, in Charlotte, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

Beast Mode returns? Seahawks, Lynch on verge of reunion

Marshawn Lynch underwent a physical in Seattle on Monday evening; Robert Turbin already signed.

  • Herald news services
  • Monday, December 23, 2019 8:44pm
  • Sports

Herald news services

SEATTLE — A reunion of Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks has become a reality.

After flying to Seattle on Monday to meet with Seahawks officials and take a physical, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported around 8:30 p.m. PST that the franchise’s iconic running back was in agreement with the team to return for the remainder of the season.

Doug Hendrickson, Lynch’s agent, also confirmed the signing, posting a Twitter photo of the contract presumably signed by his client Monday night.

Coach Pete Carroll confirmed that Lynch was meeting with team brass in Seattle during his radio show Monday on ESPN 710 Seattle.

And Carroll sounded optimistic a signing would happen, saying “we’re going to give him a really good chance to come back and play for us. … we’ll let you know in a few hours from now.”

Carroll intimated the only thing that would potentially get in the way would be Lynch’s condition. But he likewise sounded optimistic that it wouldn’t be an issue, and clearly, he was correct.

“He has worked really hard,” Carroll said of Lynch, who has not played since October of 2018 in a game against the Seahawks in London while with the Raiders. “Got to see what kind of shape he’s in. From what we understand he’s in really good shape.”

Asked whether it would be exciting to get one of the team’s most iconic players back on the field, Carroll said, “so let’s be excited about it. … there’s a lot of history there that’s great history and there was nobody that ever amplified the kind of mentality and toughness that we like to play with and so if we get a chance to get the Beast back on the field we’ll see how that works out.”

And as for Lynch not having played in a while?

“The circumstances rolled just at this time,” Carroll said. “He could have 4-5 games left in him. Maybe that’s what we need.”

The news of the visit was first reported by Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network. A source confirmed to The Seattle Times that the team would consider signing Lynch.

Schefter reported earlier Monday evening that the Seahawks had also signed another former Seattle running back, Robert Turbin. Several other running backs were considered to fill the two open roster spots created by the season-ending injuries to Chris Carso and C.J. Prosise during Sunday’s loss to Arizona, including C.J. Anderson — who helped lead the Rams to the Super Bowl last season.

Seattle ended the game down to just one tailback — rookie Travis Homer — who played the entire second half. Seattle was already without Rashaad Penny, who suffered a knee injury against the Rams Dec. 8.

Carroll confirmed that Carson is out for the season saying he “has a fracture in his hip from a real violent shot he took, hit the ground with his knee.” Carroll again compared the injury to one suffered a year ago by safety Lano Hill, who had surgery and was out about eight months before returning. Prosise suffered a broken arm.

But no matter who else signs, it is obviously Lynch who would draw the most attention as he would attempt to have one last and improbable act in a Seahawks career that appeared to have ended for good when he retired following the 2015 season.

Lynch is the fourth-leading rusher in team history with 6,347 yards and second in rushing touchdowns with 57.

Lynch, 33, has not played since suffering a groin injury while playing for the Raiders against the Seahawks in a game in London on Oct. 14, 2018.

Lynch finished last season on injured reserve and became an unrestricted free agent when his contract with the Raiders expired following the season.

Lynch last played for Seattle in 2015, famously announcing his retirement by tweeting a photo of a pair of cleats hanging over an electrical wire during the Super Bowl.

After sitting out a year, he returned to play two seasons for his hometown Raiders and had 1,267 yards on 297 carries with Oakland.

Lynch never announced his retirement, and a report in May said he would return to the Raiders this year if they needed him.

Lynch visited the Seahawks’ training complex two weeks ago when he was in town, but at the time playing was not considered. The visit was merely a social one, though the team had to report it to the NFL since Lynch has not officially retired.

But that will be different now as Lynch will meet with Carroll and general manager John Schneider to consider playing again.

The ending to Lynch’s Seattle tenure was a little bumpy — he famously did not get on the bus for a trip to the airport for a playoff game against Minnesota to the surprise of Carroll and others in the organization after deciding he wasn’t well enough to play after having had sports hernia surgery early in the 2015 season. He returned to play in the divisional playoff game against Carolina but had just 20 yards on six carries, and the announced his retirement a few weeks later.

Carroll, though, said he has kept in contact with Lynch since he left Seattle — Lynch has made frequent visits to the area for business and personal reasons.

“We have stayed in touch some,” Carroll said, adding he thinks Lynch would be equally excited about a return. “I’m hoping (it works out) for him. He will have a blast playing for this team. He loves this city. He loves playing here.”

Turbin was one of two veteran free agent tailbacks reported by Field Yates of ESPN to have worked out for Seattle last Tuesday. The other was Alfred Blue, who a source confirmed visited the Seahawks after playing for Houston from 2014-18, amassing 2,407 yards in 16 starts. Turbin was a fourth-round pick by Seattle in the memorable 2012 draft out of Utah State, where he was a teammate of middle linebacker Bobby Wagner.

Turbin later became a training camp roommate of another rookie from that class — quarterback Russell Wilson — and the two have long been close (Turbin was among the groomsmen at Wilson’s wedding to Ciara in 2016.)

Turbin gained 354, 264 and 310 yards in his three seasons with Seattle from 2012-14 serving as the backup to Lynch as well as often filling the role as a third-down/two-minute back.

He was waived by Seattle in September of 2015, in part due to the emergence of then-rookie Thomas Rawls, and has since played for Cleveland, Dallas and the Colts.

He played just two games for the Colts in 2018 before being cut in November after spending much of the season dealing with a shoulder injury.

Turbin, 30, has not been on a roster this season but did have a tryout with the Raiders in the spring.

Anderson, 28, also played at Cal — as did Lynch — and had 1,007 yards for Denver in 2017. He was signed by the Rams for the stretch drive last year ad had 123 yards in a divisional playoff round win over Dallas. He played two games for Detroit early this season, with 43 yards on 16 carries, before being released.

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