RENTON, Wash. — Marshawn Lynch is on his way to Carolina and likely his first game for the Seattle Seahawks since mid-November.
The Seattle running back was listed as probable for the NFC divisional playoff game Sunday against the Panthers. And a week after deciding he wasn’t ready to play and not joining his teammates in Minnesota, Lynch was one of the last players to step on the team bus on Friday afternoon at the team’s headquarters as it left for the airport.
"Bags are packed," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said about his running back after the Seahawks concluded their final practice.
Lynch being listed as probable is the most encouraging sign that Seattle will get its starting running back on the field for the first time since Week 10 against Arizona. Lynch underwent abdominal surgery on Nov. 25 and was away from the team doing his rehab until last week.
Seattle was hopeful Lynch would return a week ago for the NFC wild-card game against Minnesota, but he did not accompany the team to Minneapolis after determining he was not ready to play. Carroll said Lynch looked better in practice this week than he did before the Minnesota game.
Lynch has been a full participant in practice each day the past two weeks.
"He had a great week, he really did. He was faster and more explosive this week than last week. You can see that he made an improvement," Carroll said.
Carroll also poked a little fun at the events of last Friday when Lynch decided he could use extra rehab time and remained behind in Seattle.
"He’s somewhat unpredictable in certain ways, but he’s really pumped to play football and play with his team," Carroll said. "So I’m looking forward to him playing like he has in the past."
Seattle also listed starting tight end Luke Willson as probable after he missed the past two games due to a concussion suffered in Week 16 against St. Louis. The only player listed as doubtful for Seattle is fullback Will Tukuafu due to a hamstring injury suffered last week.