The mysterious abdominal issue which has plagued Seahawks star running back Marshawn Lynch for the past few weeks and made him a surprise inactive for Sunday's win over the San Francisco 49ers will be investigated by a specialist Tuesday.
According to Pete Carroll, the issue could be a sports hernia and may require surgery. Any procedure this late in the year could spell the end of Lynch's season and perhaps even his career in Seattle.
"Nothing is ruled out at this point,'' Carroll said. "This will be a really important couple of days for Marshawn. We'll know something by Wednesday, probably."
The 29-year old Lynch is under contract until 2017 but he's proven increasingly injury-prone, missing three full games already this season. The increasingly cash-strapped Seahawks could see Lynch as a potentially salary cap casualty. The club would reportedly save 6.5 million by releasing him prior to next season. \
Lynch considered retiring after last season and, frankly, hasn't been as effective this year as undrafted free agent Thomas Rawls, who currently leads the Seahawks with 604 rushing yards on just 101 carries, a healthy 6.0 average which would lead the NFL.
Lynch, meanwhile, is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry and "just" 417 yards with 10 more carries on the year.
While many fans are quick to forget all that Lynch has done for the Seahawks and jump on the Rawls bandwagon, it is important to acknowledge that the injuries BeastMode has sustained this season have robbed him of some of his trademark burst. That's why, in fact, Lynch wasn't made active Sunday - he just didn't show the same acceleration as he normally would. Further, Lynch's production has been hampered by Seattle's offensive line, which has performed much better the past few weeks as a run-blocking unit but struggled early in the year when Lynch, not Rawls, was Seattle's primary ball-carrier.
With or without Lynch, the Seahawks will face the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday at CenturyLink.