The Seattle Seahawks' run game was so severely decimated by injuries during the regular season that they had to persuade Marshawn Lynch to come out of retirement for Week 17.
Lynch played in three games for the Seahawks, including their NFC Divisional Round loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. The veteran running back didn't play particularly well versus the Packers, tallying 26 yards on 12 carries. He did, however, score a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs, including one that helped Seattle make the game competitive in the second half.
New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore was impressed enough to give Lynch a shout out on Twitter:
What’s crazy to me is Marshawn Lynch not playing no ball and coming in during playoff time and scoring touchdowns. When everyone else has had 20 + games under their belt on the year. #Beast
Lynch's effort was admirable. He didn't play nearly the entire year and then was dropped into a fierce playoff race at the very end of the season. His workload wasn't small, either. He played quite a few snaps and ended up with 33 touches (30 carries, three targets) in three games.
The 33-year-old running back also was effective at the goal line, which had to drive Seahawks fans crazy given what happened against the Patriots at the end of Super Bowl XLIX. Three of Lynch's touchdowns since re-joining Seattle were 1-yard runs, and the other came from five yards out.
Lynch wasn't able to help the Seahawks make another run to the Super Bowl, but he still should be commended for helping the team get through a very difficult situation at running back.
Marshawn Lynch has not played an NFL snap in 2019, and he hasn't suited up for the Seattle Seahawks since 2015, but it's becoming increasingly possible the veteran running back makes a return to pro football as soon as this week.
The Seahawks are dealing with several injuries to running backs right now, with starter Chris Carson and backup C.J. Prosise both banged up. Carson has a fracture in his hip and will miss the remainder of the 2019 season. The Seahawks are 11-4 and will clinch the NFC West title if they beat the rival San Francisco 49ers at home in Sunday's Week 17 finale.
Reports surfaced Sunday night that Lynch returning to the Seahawks was a real possibility, and Seattle head coach Pete Carroll confirmed Monday that the 33-year-old running back will be given a chance to make the roster.
"He'll be flying in here this morning and we're gonna give him a really good chance to come back and play for us...I think it's freakin' great if he could get back out there and tote the ball for us." #Seahawks
Lynch helped the Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII and is one of the best running backs of his era, but the memory that stands out in most people's minds is Seattle not giving him the ball on the 1-yard line against the New England Patriots at the end of Super Bowl XLIX. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was intercepted by Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, resulting in one of the most iconic championship plays in league history.
Its all setting up for a patriots vs seahawks super bowl in which the final moments of game will come down to a goal line stand from the patriots. Seahawks line up with Lynch in the backfield, Everyone knows whats coming; a completed slant route touchdown from Wilson for the win. https://t.co/utO58lKYOA
Hear me out. Hawks sign Lynch this week. He leads them to the super bowl where on the 1 yard line down by 4 with less than 1 minute left we give it to him. he scores and he walks away a super bowl MVP! #Bigdreams#itcouldhappen
Of course, the clue refers to the Malcolm Butler interception in the final seconds of Super Bowl XLIX that sealed an improbable Patriots victory. If Seattle simply had used Marshawn Lynch to run it in from the one-yard line than attempting a quick slant pass, history probably would have been written a little differently.
Yeah, it's safe to say the Seahawks won't ever live that one down.