10:51am: La Canfora confirms (via Twitter) that Lynch underwent a procedure for his sports hernia today, adding that the Seahawks will reevaluate him in three or four weeks.
10:43am: Coming off a 200-yard rushing game, Thomas Rawls appears poised to continue carrying the load in the Seahawks’ backfield, with Marshawn Lynch‘s abdominal injury is expected to sideline him for multiple weeks. Various reports have suggested that Lynch will be out anywhere from two to five weeks, putting him on track to return in December.
Adam Schefter of ESPN.com initially reported that Lynch would need “a couple weeks” to see how he does in his recovery from his abdominal injury, though subsequent reports have suggested the running back will miss more time. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), Lynch will undergo sports hernia surgery today, and is expected to be out for about a month.
Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com passes along similar info to Rapoport’s, tweeting that the Seahawks will likely wait about three or four weeks to see how Lynch responds to surgery. Meanwhile, Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports doesn’t specifically mention surgery, but tweets that Lynch will miss about four or five weeks.
While we may have to wait for the Seahawks to issue a statement to get the official word on Lynch, it seems clear that Rawls will be the top back on the club’s depth chart for at least the next couple games, and Lynch won’t be placed on injured reserve. At 5-5, Seattle is still very much in the Wild Card hunt in the NFC, so it sounds like Lynch would be back in time for the playoffs if the team were to earn a postseason berth.
Rawls’ performance over the next few weeks could also have an impact on Lynch’s long-term future in Seattle. The veteran is set to earn a base salary of $9MM in 2016, the highest amount in the NFL for a running back. If Rawls proves capable of being the No. 1 option in the Seahawks’ backfield, the team could conceivably consider releasing Lynch – or at least asking him to rework his contract – in the offseason.