A week after Marshawn Lynch did not make the trip to Minneapolis for Seattle's wild-card win over the Vikings, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the running back's "bags are packed" for Carolina.
Lynch, who has missed the past eight games with an abdominal injury, is listed as probable for Sunday's divisional-round playoff game at Carolina, and Carroll said, "There's a really good chance," Lynch plays.
"He had a great week, he really did," Carroll said. "He was faster and more explosive this week than last week. You could see that he made an improvement… He's really pumped to play football and play with his team. I'm looking forward to him playing like he has in the past. We'll make sure to watch and see how he's doing and how much we can play him. We'll figure that out as the game goes."
Lynch, who had surgery in November, returned to practice last week, but was not able to play in Seattle's wild-card win at Minnesota. Lynch practiced fully last week, but was listed as questionable Friday before later being downgraded to out after not making the trip to Minneapolis.
Carroll said there isn't anything Lynch needs to show in a pregame workout to prove he's ready to play so long as his body responds well to the week of practice.
"Just make sure everything's OK," Carroll said. "We'll see how he responds tomorrow one more time, but all indications are that he's in good shape to go…We're in good shape unless he has a reaction to the day's work or something, I think we're in really good shape."
Christine Michael has started in Lynch's place in recent weeks and played well, rushing for a career-best 102 yards in a Week 17 win at Arizona, then adding 70 more yards last week in Minnesota. Carroll said even with Lynch likely back, Michael "Is going to play a lot. We expect him to be in and out of there regularly."
If Lynch is able to go, and with tight end Luke Willson cleared from the concussion protocol, the Seahawks would have only one injury concern for Sunday's game, with fullback Will Tukuafu listed as doubtful because of a hamstring injury.
"Luke's in good shape, everybody else is ready to go," Carroll said. "… How fortunate can we be? That's an awesome sign for us. We're loading up that plane, everybody's going and we're ready to go crank it up with all hands on deck. It's exciting."
Here are the injury reports for both teams:
FB Will Tukuafu (hamstring, did not participate in practice)
TE Luke Willson (concussion, full participation)
RB Marshawn Lynch (abdomen, full participation)
DE Michael Bennett (toe, full participation)
FB Fozzy Whittaker (ankle, did not participate in practice)
WR Ted Ginn Jr. (knee, did not participate in practice)
DE Kony Ealy (illness, full participation)
Seahawks Legend Marcus Trufant kicked off another playoff Blue Friday raising a 12 Flag at the Space Needle and the Blue Friday Bus Tour made Washington stops in Monroe, Kirkland and Bellevue to do the same.