The Seahawks will be without Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) for their regular-season finale against the Arizona Cardinals.
During his Wednesday afternoon press conference at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks running back would miss a seventh straight game as he continues to recover from surgery with trainers Lynch is familiar with in the Bay Area.
"He's really day to day right now," Carroll said. "He's in the final mode of his rehab, but he's not ready yet to be here."
The key to Lynch's return will be in how well he is able to string together consecutive days of work. Carroll said Lynch has put together "a really good last couple days," but is still experiencing soreness.
"There's still some discomfort for him and he's trying to establish the consistency in coming back the next day in showing that he can get back out there, which he's doing," Carroll said. "But he's not quite over the hump yet."
The last time the Seahawks played against the Cardinals in Arizona, Lynch ripped off a memorable 79-yard touchdown run in a 35-6 Seattle victory. Bruce Arians, Arizona's head coach, will be happy to learn "Beast Mode" won't be back in the mix this weekend.
"He is a beast," Arians said via conference call Wednesday of what he's seen from Lynch over the years. "I love watching him play, I hate playing against him. He's one of those guys that you don't want to play against him, but you'd love to have him on your team."
Carroll said it's possible, but not likely, that Lynch could return to team headquarters tomorrow and start practicing. The hope, though, is to have Lynch ready for the Seahawks' wild-card playoff game, which would take place the weekend of Jan. 9-10, 2016 against a still-to-be-determined opponent.
"I would think he could make it back," Carroll said. "That's what we hear. It's really up to that day to day kind of progression that he's making. So there's a lot of days between next week starting up. We'll see what happens."
Whether or not Lynch would be able to jump right back into the Seahawks starting lineup without extensive time on the practice field remains to be seen. But Carroll said if anyone's capable of that feat, Lynch would be the guy.
"We need to see, need to see what he looks like," Carroll said. "Let's just wait on that and not try to call it ahead of time. He's an unusual player that knows football, he gets the game, he's really an astute learner, he's not a young guy trying to figure this out or that we're uncertain about. If a guy could do it, he could do it."
Here's a few more injury updates from Carroll's Week 17 Wednesday press conference:
- Defensive end Michael Bennett is going through a non-surgical procedure to deal with a nagging toe injury. His long-term availability doesn't seem to be in question, but Carroll said Bennett could miss Sunday's game against Arizona. "He's going through a procedure to deal with that toe and we don't know how that's going to work out until later in the week," Carroll said. "It could be one that we need to hold him out. We don't know that yet."
- Luke Willson, who exited this past Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams with a concussion, continues to go through NFL concussion protocol. His status for Sunday's game against Arizona is uncertain, but Carroll said the tight end has "made progress every day."
- Left tackle Russell Okung, who missed this past week's game with a calf injury, made it through Seattle's walk thru practice on Wednesday, and according to Carroll is "on his way back."
- Strong safety Kam Chancellor (pelvis) was held out of the team's Wednesday morning walk thru. "He's still a day to day process to get him back," Carroll said. "I can't tell you any more than we'll see what happens tomorrow."