by Jordy McElroy
Oakland is home to Marshawn Lynch, but Seattle will always be home to Beast Mode.
That terrifying downhill runner that has truck-sticked over countless souls hopped on a plane ride on Monday destined for the Seattle Seahawks’ facility. After passing a physical, a Christmas reunion of seismic proportions between Lynch and the running back-needy Seahawks was confirmed in the wee hours of the night. It served as proof that not all heroes wear capes. Some ride pimped out bicycles and eat Skittles.
This isn’t some publicity stunt to get the beloved running back to retire a Seahawk, either. The loss of Chris Carson (hip) for the season robbed the team of their primary offensive sledgehammer to bludgeon defenses.
Rashaad Penny tore his ACL earlier in the month, and C.J. Prosise also went down with a broken arm in Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The level of desperation is dire right now in Seattle. So coach Pete Carroll made a phone call.
“[Lynch] will be flying in there this morning, and we’re going to give him a really good chance to come back and play for us,” Carroll said on 710 ESPN Seattle on Monday.
It would seem as if good old Saint Nick had a Christmas miracle up his sleeve after all.
Lynch, 33, is the best possible option the Seahawks could find this late in the season to help fill the void. His overall familiarity with the organization and their system instantly makes him an invaluable asset ahead of a possible postseason run.
Imagine the reception he’ll receive from his teammates and fans when he steps on the field in the regular season finale against the San Francisco 49ers. CenturyLink Field will be a rollicking madhouse on Sunday.
Yet, there is still the lingering question as to how much Lynch actually has left in the tank. He played in six games for the Oakland Raiders last year before being placed on injured reserve with a groin injury. The Seahawks are also down starting left tackle Duane Brown, who underwent a knee procedure for a meniscus injury on Monday.
Will there be a domino effect of blocking struggles without Brown anchoring the left side of the offensive line?
It’s too late for the Seahawks to worry about any of that at this point. Injuries happen in the NFL on a weekly basis, and teams are forced to adjust on the fly. That’s what Carroll did when bringing Lynch in on a multiple-game deal that extends throughout the rest of the season. They also went out and re-signed 30-year-old veteran running back Robert Turbin off the streets.
Is it 2014 again?
The Seahawks have essentially rebuilt their offensive backfield from Super Bowl XLVIII.
Lynch is without question the main attraction considering how his last run ended. Even after dismantling the Denver Broncos and winning Super Bowl XLVIII, he will always be tethered to Carroll’s blundering decision that cost the team a chance to repeat against the New England Patriots at Super Bowl XLIX.
On second-and-goal from the one-yard line, with the game on the line, the Seahawks opted to pass the football instead of running it in with Lynch. Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler beat the receiver to the ball and picked off quarterback Russell Wilson to ice the game. The fallout from the Super Bowl loss destroyed that Seahawks team from within, and Lynch retired for the first time a year later.
His decision to return at a time of need for the Seahawks with Carroll still acting as head coach buries those perceived hard feelings. It’s surreal to think his first game back will be against a 49ers team with former Seahawk Richard Sherman at cornerback.
Beast Mode wearing the old No. 24 jersey, Sherm back in town for a visit and the 12th man being revitalized for perhaps the first time since the death of the Legion of Boom—what a topsy-turvy way to end the regular season.