After missing the past two games with a hamstring injury, Marshawn Lynch practiced in full for the Seahawks on Thursday in what was the running back's first full workout since prior to the team's Week 2 game against the Green Bay Packers.
"He looks really good," Seattle coach Pete Carroll told KIRO Radio 97.3 FM's Dori Monson on Friday morning, two days before his team kicks off against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field. "He's had a good week and we're expecting him to play, and play a lot."
With Lynch expected to be back in the mix against the Panthers this week, running back Thomas Rawls will be relegated to a backup role just one week after rushing for 169 yards - the most by a Seahawks player since Shaun Alexander ran for 201 in December 2007. Despite the rookie's early success, Carroll said there's "no reason" to think Lynch's starting job would be challenged this point.
"What he has done gives us great confidence," Carroll said of Rawls. "When Marshawn comes out we'll pop right back in with Thomas as the No. 2 and we'll be running the offense just like we like to. So that's a really good one-two punch we think and really looking forward to Marshawn coming back and being a factor."
Starting middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who injured his pectoral against the Cincinnati Bengals this past Sunday but was able to finish the game, will be a game-time decision according to Carroll.
"We're going to go all the way to game-time with him," Carroll said of Wagner, who's sat out the team's first two practices this week. "He's got a real sore pec muscle and we're trying to see if he can handle the game. We don't know. He did play with it later in the Cincinnati game, so we'll see if he's able to do that, but we won't know until Sunday."
The full conversation with Carroll, including comments on the team's Week 5 play at Cincinnati and thoughts on its Week 6 opponent Carolina, is embedded for you above.
They first met in 2000. They last met last year in NFC Divisional Playoff. See the photos from both games and every game in between before the Seahawks and Panthers face-off this Sunday at CenturyLink Field.