Seahawks’ Lynch added to Pro Bowl

SEATTLE — Running back Marshawn Lynch was added to the NFC Pro Bowl roster Tuesday, giving the Seattle Seahawks its best representation in Hawaii since 2007.

Lynch replaces San Francisco’s Frank Gore, who is out with an illness, and will join teammates Earl Thomas, the NFC’s starting free safety, and cornerback Brandon Browner, strong safety Kam Chancellor and fullback Michael Robinson, who were all alternates added because of injuries to other players. And after two straight years without a single Pro Bowler, Seattle will be well represented in Sunday’s game.

The Seahawks have twice had seven Pro Bowl representatives (1984 and 2005) and had six in 2007. They also sent five to the Pro Bowl in 1985, 1986 and 2003.

Lynch, who established career highs with 1,204 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, came to symbolize Seattle’s second-half turnaround as the Seahawks finished 5-3 after starting with a 2-6 record. Through seven games the Seahawks ranked 31st in the NFL in rushing, and Lynch, who missed one of those games, averaged 43.8 yards per game. The Seahawks recommitted to the run game prior to the game in Dallas, and Lynch rushed for 135 yards in a game that, while a loss, was something of a turning point for the team. Lynch went over 100 yards in six of Seattle’s final nine games while establishing a franchise record with touchdowns in 11 straight games. He also became Seattle’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Shaun Alexander in 2005.

Lynch will be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins in March if the Seahawks don’t re-sign him before then. Seattle could also use the franchise tag on the 25-year-old back if a long-term deal can’t be reached.

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com.

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