ALAMEDA -- Marshawn Lynch last played professional football in silver and black, more than a year ago now.
The former Raiders running back suffered a season-ending groin injury in a Week 6 loss to his former team back in Oct. 2018.
He hasn’t played or practiced a snap since that loss to the Seahawks. The Oakland legend was open to a return to his hometown Raiders this season, but the team chose to go young as position and draft Josh Jacobs.
Lynch never formally retired, was always present in the community. He attended the Raiders’ last game in Oakland and stayed in touch with Raiders he played with from 2017-18.
Teammates who know him well believe Lynch will thrive in his return to Seattle. He will star in a late-season run starting Sunday in a division-deciding clash with the 49ers without much prep.
“I know that, if anybody can do it, he can do it,” running back DeAndre Washington said. “They call him Beast Mode for a reason. I’m pretty sure he’s going give those guys a much-needed spark heading into the playoffs.”
The Seahawks have a playoff spot locked up and needed rushers for a postseason run after Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise were recently lost for the season with injury. Lynch took an exploratory trip to Seattle after another runner, Rashad Penny, suffered an ACL tear a few weeks back.
He trained hard for a possible return at a San Francisco gym and formally returned to Seattle late Monday night.
“People don’t know how hard he has been working to get ready just in case,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “He wasn’t done playing football.”
Carr remains close with Lynch after sharing good times together as Raiders and active members of the community.
“He’s one of the most loyal people you’ll ever meet,” Carr said. “When you come across someone like that, such a good dude, such a good teammate, it’s unique. When some things have happened this year, he was only the first people calling. He’s such a good friend. His imprint was left on this team and this building for sure.”
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Lynch has a prominent following and remains immensely popular to this day, even though he hasn’t played in some time. The 33-year old with a unique personality and a violent rushing style has generated significant buzz since open talk of his return to Seattle started Monday morning, and certainly adds intrigue to the Seahawks as they push for another Super Bowl ring.
“I love Marshawn,” Carr said. “… It’s good to see him back. He’s a football player. He’s an awesome guy and a great friend and teammate. I have had some funny conversations with him, especially this year. I didn’t know in talking to him that he was going to come back and play, but he’s back and that’s a good thing for football.”