Wednesday cyber surfing: Lynch’s status questioned; 2012 previews & predictions

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 5.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says that running back Marshawn Lynch’s status for the season opener at Arizona this Sunday is a is a little unclear, and that we should know more after Pete Carroll addresses the media later today, “He suffered back spasms following the Seahawks’ second exhibition game at Denver. He hasn’t practiced with the team since, just watching workouts, and didn’t appear in the final two exhibition games. Lynch was absent from the practice field entirely on Aug. 27, while getting treatment. Carroll was asked afterward if Lynch’s back was a long-term concern. ‘We’ll have rested him a couple of weeks to make sure that he’s OK,’ Carroll said. ‘So we’re taking care with this one. He has had back conditions kind of in the past. We’re just making sure we do the right thing and are taking all the time that’s available.’ Two days later, Carroll’s assessment was more certain. ‘He took a real good turn this week,’ Carroll said last Wednesday, the day before Seattle’s exhibition finale. ‘The rehab that he has been doing has really been effective, so we think he’s going to be fine.’ ”

O’Neil points to rookie running back Robert Turbin as a more than capable backup plan should Lynch not be able to go on Sunday, “We bring this up now not just because Lynch’s status became a national question mark on Tuesday, but to point out that Turbin gives Seattle something it didn’t have last year: Namely, someone running with comparable size to Lynch. Turbin is listed at 222 pounds with a massive upper body, but more burst than expected from a guy whose biceps are that big. Turbin gave a glimpse of what he can do in the third exhibition game when he rushed 14 times for 93 yards. More than have those yards were gained in the first series of the third quarter when Turbin carried three times, gaining 8 then 17 and then 25 yards at a time when a good chunk of Kansas City’s starters were still in the game.”

O’Neil also makes an appearance on 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” show, subbing for Dave Grosby. In this short video, O’Neil and Bob Stelton discuss Lynch’s injury and what it could mean for the Seahawks if he does not play this Sunday.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune writes that versatility helped wide receiver Charly Martin win a spot on the 53-man roster over several other receivers gunning for the job in camp, “Martin, a native of Walla Walla who competed at the NCAA Division II level (West Texas A&M), landed on this roster by doing everything right in four exhibition games and in dozens of practices during the offseason and training camp. His margin for error was that slim. ‘He did the right thing and was always in the right place,’ Brown said. ‘Not only on offense, but on special teams, too. When he had the occasion to make a play, he made it. He stayed healthy, which was big, and he just never did anything to hurt himself. You could say he took advantage of his opportunities.’ ”

Brady Henderson of details the significance of Lynch’s injury heading into the weekend at Arizona, “Lynch has dealt with back spasms for much of his career. He was sidelined shortly before kickoff of the Seahawks’ 6-3 loss to the Browns last season. Smaller running backs Leon Washington and Justin Forsett combined for just 62 yards in his absence, underscoring how important Lynch and his physical running style are to Seattle’s offense. The Seahawks spent a fourth-round pick on Robert Turbin with the hope that the similar-sized running back could replicate that style when Lynch came off the field. With Lynch on the sideline for all but one preseason game, Turbin rushed for 165 yards and a touchdown on 38 carries.

Mike Sando of takes a look at what it could mean if Lynch misses the season opener, “Even with the 222-pound Turbin running well, the Seahawks likely would not be the same without their starting back. Lynch rushed for a career-high 1,204 yards last season. His physical running style gave Seattle a welcome and needed identity on offense. Heading into the Arizona game with rookies at quarterback (Russell Wilson), right guard (J.R. Sweezy) and running back (Turbin) probably wouldn’t faze the Seahawks as much as one might expect. Wilson and Sweezy beat out more experienced competitors. Inexperienced backs can struggle in pass protection initially, however. Seattle might feel more comfortable leaning on Washington in passing situations if Lynch could not play.”

Andy Benoit of the New York Times ‘Fifth Down’ NFL blog has their 2012 Seahawks preview, “Want a breakout team for 2012? Turn your attention to the upper left corner of our country’s map. The Seahawks are returning a solid, aggressive young defense that quietly ranked in the top 10 last season. It’s a defense that plays a fairly straightforward style, relying on talent more than gimmicks. Offensively, the Seahawks finally discovered a run game in 2011, which is largely why they went 5-3 in the second half of the season.”

Pete King of Sports Illustrated has his 2012 NFL predictions, and he picks the Seahawks to finish 9-7. You can watch his one minute video preview on the ‘Hawks here.

The APPro32 has their comments and ranks on the Seahawks for 2012, ranking them as high as No. 17, “Pat Kirwan (SiriusXM NFL Radio/ — Maybe surprise team of 2012. Russell Wilson sparks offense and receiving group coming together. Defense is physical and secondary is biggest in NFL.” and as low as No. 26, “Rich Gannon (CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio) — Russell Wilson doesn’t have a ton of juice at WR … very average group.

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