The Seattle Seahawks’ running backs are healthy and received a much-anticipated addition going into their final three games of the regular season.
Starter Chris Carson and backup Carlos Hyde are as healthy as they have been all season. The Seahawks on Saturday officially activated Rashaad Penny, who is expected to play today against the Washington Football Team.
This unit looks like its ready to make a big impact as the Seahawks prepare to play at the Washington and close out the regular season. The positive outlook for the group stands in stark contrast to the darkness that enveloped the Seahawks at this time in 2019.
“It was a stressful time,” Seahawks’ offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer told reporters Thursday.
The Seahawks lost Carson (fractured hip) and then-backup C.J. Prosise (broken arm) to season-ending injuries during Week 16. They lost Penny to a torn ACL during Week 10. The situation was so dire the Seahawks signed the retired Marshawn Lynch along with Robert Turbin. Lynch played in the final regular season game and two playoff games.
“You lost all your running backs, that was tough,” quarterback Russell Wilson told reporters Thursday. “That’s the tough part of this game. The good thing is these guys have worked their tails off to get back.”
Carson appears to have regained his form during the Seahawks’ 40-3 win over the New York Jets. He rushed 12 times for 76 yards and a touchdown in the game, his best rushing total in the three games he has played since coming back from a fractured foot. Carson, who is averaging 5.1 yards a carry this season, is in a contract year and needs a strong finish to the season.
Hyde, who missed three games (Weeks 8-10) with a hamstring injury, ran 15 times for 66 yards against the Jets, helping the Seahawks rush for 174 yards in the game, their second-highest total in 2020.
Penny, in his second season, ran 65 times for 370 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games in 2019.
With Penny activated, the Seahawks are now loaded at the position.
“It’s good problem to have. We normally work through that and have a plan for the game to try and get all those guys involved,” Schottenheimer told reporters Thursday. “If you’re having success, it’s easier to get those guys involved.”
Having Carson, Hyde and Penny all available for the stretch run is adding an extra dose of confidence for the Seahawks.
“Midpoint in the season…we would go out in pregame warmups and we weren’t quite sure what our running back situation would look like,” Schottenheimer told reporters Thursday. “We’re in a much different spot. It makes it a little easier knowing we’re deep (at the position).”
— Geoffrey C. Arnold | @geoffreyCarnold