The third-year running back will “for sure” return to practice next week, Carroll said (via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta, on Twitter). Stashed on the PUP list, Penny has not played since suffering an ACL tear last December. And the Seahawks have seen injury issues crop up at running back this season.
Both Chris Carson and 2020 Penny stand-in Carlos Hyde have missed time due to injuries this season, leading to Seattle relying more on Russell Wilson earlier in the year. The team still ranks 24th in rushing attempts (but 11th in yardage) entering Week 13. With Penny and Chris Carson handling ball-carrying duties last season, the Seahawks logged the third-most rushing attempts and ranked fourth on the ground. Penny boasted a team-high 5.7 yards per carry, gaining 370 yards on the ground last season, but the former first-round pick has played behind Carson throughout his career.
The Seahawks will need to decide on Penny’s fifth-year option by May. Although Carson’s contract expires at season’s end, it may still be a stretch for Seattle to pick up Penny’s option — since the 2018 first-round class will have their options fully guaranteed. Previous Round 1 picks’ options were guaranteed for injury only. Penny, 24, does have a career 5.3 yards-per-carry average and low mileage (150 carries). A late-season return would help the San Diego State alum get his career back on track.
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