Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch is officially a Seattle Seahawk, once again, signing with the team on Monday and setting the former star running back on course to return to action this Sunday night in the team's showdown with the San Francisco 49ers.
Lynch, who has not played since Week 6 in 2018, inked a deal that reportedly only covers this Sunday's regular season finale and the 2019 playoffs. The Seahawks came calling following the loss of their top two running backs, Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise, to season-ending injuries.
Carson, for his part, was having a career year with 1,230 rushing yards (5th in NFL) and seven touchdowns (t-10th). The former seventh-round draft pick from Oklahoma State rushed for a hard-fought 89 yards on 25 carries against San Francisco, factoring heavily in the Hawks' victory at Levi's Stadium back in early November.
For Lynch, this will mark his second return from retirement. Although, this time he had not formally filed retirement paperwork with the NFL. Bay Area fans will remember that the Oakland-native came out of his one-year hiatus from professional football, back in 2017, to play for his hometown Raiders.
Now at what is very much considered "old age" for an NFL running back, the 33-year-old Beast Mode most likely won't be the formidable force fans remember from his famous "earthquake run" versus the New Orleans Saints.
It is anyone's best guess how ready Marshawn will be to handle the intense load that is carrying the ball against the Niner defense, but, if Seattle coach Pete Carroll has anything to say about it, Lynch will most likely not be put into position to do anything except succeed in helping his team remain competitive.
While Beast Mode undoubtedly has lost a step (or two), he is still a hulking human being and has the perfect instincts necessary for a downhill runner to knife through opposing defenses.
In 2018, his final season across the Bay, Lynch tallied 376 yards on 90 carries (4.2 yards per carry) through just six games of regular season action. Oakland coach Jon Gruden had settled on utilizing Marshawn in select situations with plays designed to get the most out of his tackle-breaking, smash-mouth running style. Carroll, having coached him for six seasons, will likely take a similar approach to deploying the aging veteran RB.
Regardless of how ready or "fit" for duty Lynch is, come Sunday, the Seahawks will have their hands full with the division-leading San Francisco 49ers, as they welcome the NFC's current no. 1 overall seed to CenturyLink Field in Seattle. The clash is set to begin at 5:20 p.m. Pacific Time, the 'Sunday Night Football' slot and the NFL's final game of the 2019 regular season. For the Niners, winning would mean retaining the top seed in the NFC, earning a first-round bye, and securing home field advantage for both the Divisional and Championship rounds of the playoffs.
Photo of Lynch playing for the Seahawks in 2014: Keith Allison/Flickr