BeastMode has arrived.
On Wednesday, he (and the rest of the team) will be back on the practice field, preparing for Sunday's wildcard playoff game with the Minnesota Vikings.
Lynch, of course, has missed the past seven games after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia. It is the first surgery of his career and there has plenty of speculation as to when -- or if -- he'd be able to return this season.
Pete Carroll provided an update this week on Lynch's comeback.
“He’s ready to go," Carroll said. "He’s in the program working, going. He’s going to keep doing his workouts here with us today and tomorrow, and Wednesday we’re going to practice him and see how he feels and how far he can take it. He’s worked out in incredibly competitive situations, he physically should be ready to go, but now we’ve got to translate it into football and directly to us and I’m not worried about him having any problem with the system or that kind of stuff.
"It’s been a while, but he’ll be fine. So we’ll just see if he can handle it and expect that he will and we’ll see how that goes.”
In Lynch's absence, the Seahawks have enjoyed strong running from Thomas Rawls, Christine Michael and Bryce Brown with Carroll excited about the club's new-found depth at the position discovered after Lynch went down.
While Michael, in particular, has been impressive since Rawls went down with a season-ending ankle injury of his own, Carroll was quick to point out the impact that Lynch has had on the Seahawks and was excited about his return.
“He’s an extraordinary member of this team, he always has been," Carroll said. "He’s been a lead-dog for a long time in this program about carrying the football and being tough and physical and stepping up when you have to, he’s never been anything but that. So the fact that we get a guy like that to come back to us is just a great boost and he’ll add to everybody’s confidence and he’s fun to have around and all that, so it should work out great.”
Wednesday's practice will be key to determining whether it is Lynch or Michael who gets the start (and bulk of the carries) Sunday against the Vikings. Carroll brushed off the notion that Lynch would be a distraction to a team that has come together under Russell Wilson's brilliant passing down the stretch.
"We’ve been around him for such a long time that we’re going to be able to recognize his movement," Carroll said when asked how the team will know if Lynch is ready. "That’s all we really want to see, that he can get in and out of his breaks and do the things that he always can do and that he can stand the workload and all that."
If Lynch passes the "eye test," he could be in line for a typical BeastMode workload.
When asked if Lynch could start or go for 20+ carries against the Vikings, Carroll's response was encouraging.
"We think so, yeah, we think so," Carroll said. "This would be similar to like the first game of the year, really, is what it would be like. So we don’t have any different expectations than that. So we’re going in with the same thought.”