"The doctor was very optimistic about a quick recovery," Carroll said. "And that could mean within three or four weeks or something like that, there's a chance. So we'll see how that all works out."
Carroll was asked if it's possible that Lynch could miss the rest of the season.
"I think you'd have to say that there's a chance, yeah," he said. "...But we don't expect that to happen."
Lynch had the surgery in Philadelphia and will remain on the East Coast for several days to begin recovering, Carroll said.
From 2010 to 2014, Lynch missed just one game to injury. He has missed three of 10 games this season while dealing with hamstring, calf and neck issues, in addition to the sports hernia injury.
Cornerback Richard Sherman said he's been in communication with Lynch.
"We've had numerous talks," Sherman said. "He's in good spirits. It happens. He obviously knows, playing this game for nine years or so without having surgery, so he he's kind of surprised by the way it went down. But he's doing fantastic."
"When you get nine, 10 years in the league, you start to try to figure out the plan after football anyway," Jackson said. "But talking to him, I can't tell you what he's going to do after the surgery or not. I think that's a decision he's going to have to make when it comes time to make that."
From 2011 to 2014, Lynch piled up 1,181 carries, the most of any running back in the NFL.
Lynch suffered the sports hernia injury in practice before the Seahawks' Week 10 game against the Arizona Cardinals. He started and played 79 percent of the team's snaps. But Carroll said the injury started to bother him late in the 39-32 loss.
Lynch was inactive for the Seahawks' 29-13 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 11.
He has carried 111 times for 417 yards on the season. Lynch's 3.76 yards per carry ranks 37th in the league.
Replacing him in the backfield is undrafted rookie free agent Thomas Rawls, who carried 30 times for 209 yards in the win over the 49ers. On the season, Rawls is averaging 5.98 yards per carry, the best mark in the NFL. He has 604 yards on 101 carries.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.