If Marshawn Lynch misses season opener

September, 4, 2012
9/04/12
5:25
PM ET
For weeks, Seattle Seahawks fans wondered whether a DUI arrest might lead to a one-game suspension for running back Marshawn Lynch.

Those fears have subsided in the interim, but Lynch's status against Arizona in the season opener has become an issue. Back spasms are threatening to keep Lynch from playing, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.

Lynch missed practice Monday. He hasn't played since the second week of the exhibition season. The running back has regularly missed preseason games in past years, however, so there was nothing particularly alarming about his absence this summer. He started 15 games last season, missing a game against Cleveland when back spasms flared up right before kickoff.

The Seahawks were counting on Lynch against the Browns. They had little time to prepare a plan without him. They also lacked another power back on the roster, leaving Leon Washington and the since-departed Justin Forsett as their leading alternatives. Seattle addressed the issue this offseason by using a fourth-round choice for running back Robert Turbin, who has run well enough to ease fears about losing Lynch for short stretches.

Even with the 222-pound Turbin running well, the Seahawks likely would not be the same without their starting back. Lynch rushed for a career-high 1,204 yards last season. His physical running style gave Seattle a welcome and needed identity on offense.

Heading into the Arizona game with rookies at quarterback (Russell Wilson), right guard (J.R. Sweezy) and running back (Turbin) probably wouldn't faze the Seahawks as much as one might expect. Wilson and Sweezy beat out more experienced competitors. Inexperienced backs can struggle in pass protection initially, however. Seattle might feel more comfortable leaning on Washington in passing situations if Lynch could not play.

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