The Seahawks will be short-handed Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals with the news Friday that All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch has not recovered sufficiently from his hamstring strain and will miss his second consecutive game.
The news is surprising given that Lynch was originally listed as a non-participant during Thursday's practice before the Seahawks announced that he did participate on a limited basis. That announcement was widely interpreted as a sign that Lynch was improving and might be able to play Sunday.
Instead, Lynch is being held out to protect him from further injury.
"He did get a little bit of work," Pete Carroll said when asked if Lynch had any work this week or had regressed in some way. "He is running very well. However, it's just two weeks now. He's just getting over it. We've seen some guys around the league try to come back. He could try to come back and play but he could be vulnerable. He needs another weekend to try to get through it."
Instead, even before the conclusion of Friday's practice, the Seahawks had listed Lynch as officially out for this game. There doesn't seem to be any chance of a reversal as Lynch, according to Carroll, won't even be traveling to Cincinnati with the team.
The Seahawks are further short-handed at the position with veteran Fred Jackson nursing an ankle injury and officially listed as questionable.
Undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls is in line to start his third consecutive game. The Seahawks also could opt to use fullback Derrick Coleman at running back. His inspirational story is explained in the video above.
The loss of Lynch - arguably the best running back in the NFL - hurts Seattle's chances at beating the undefeated Bengals, who haven't allowed a rushing touchdown this season.
It puts significantly more pressure on Russell Wilson and Seattle's passing attack, which has struggled in large part because of an inability to protect the quarterback.