RENTON, Wash. (AP) Pete Carroll was going through what stood out about his running back, the willingness to seek out contact and running with a purpose that gives the Seattle Seahawks an identity.
''He makes somebody miss to find somebody to hit, I think,'' Carroll said.
For a change, Carroll wasn't speaking about Marshawn Lynch. He was talking about rookie Thomas Rawls.
And the job of being Seattle's primary ball carrier could be Rawls' going forward because of uncertainty about the health of Lynch.
Rawls is expected to make his second straight start Sunday against Pittsburgh. Carroll said Monday it was unlikely Lynch would be able to play because of a lower abdominal injury that kept him out of Seattle's 29-13 victory over San Francisco on Sunday.
Carroll called Lynch's injury something that was ''legitimately bothering him.'' Lynch traveled to Philadelphia and was scheduled to meet with Dr. William Meyers on Tuesday to discuss his options, including surgery.
Meyers has performed surgery in the past on the likes of Adrian Peterson and Robinson Cano. Carroll said the visit was an evaluation, but treatment options were open.
''It was to go back there for the evaluation to find out what is next and there are a couple of choices possibly depending on what the doc feels is necessary and then we'll wait and see what that all means,'' Carroll said.
The abdominal injury is the latest problem for Lynch, who missed games earlier this season because of a hamstring injury and has played through back problems in the past.
Lynch popped up on the injury report on Nov. 13, two days before the Seahawks faced Arizona. He played through the discomfort in the loss to the Cardinals but Carroll said the injury got worse as the game went on. Lynch did not practice last week in the hope he would be able to go against the 49ers.
''When he went out in pregame he just didn't feel very good,'' Carroll said.
Rawls filled in quite well against the 49ers, rushing for 209 yards and a touchdown and also catching a TD pass. It was the second-best rushing day in Seahawks history, trailing only Shaun Alexander's 266 yards in 2001.
Rawls became the first rookie in league history to have more than 250 yards from scrimmage, one touchdown running and one receiving in the same game. He has three 100-yard games, and the 209 yards was the second-best game by any player in the league this season.
''I don't think my confidence really comes from my game. My confidence comes with practice,'' Rawls said after Sunday's win. ''I need the practice. When I go out there, I run like it's the game. . Any time I get the ball in practice, I try to go the distance with it. It all starts in practice.''
Rawls' skill flashed in practice enough during the offseason that Seattle was willing to part with Robert Turbin and Christine Michael as the backups to Lynch and go with Rawls with veteran Fred Jackson as the third-down back. So far, Rawls is looking like another absolute steal by the Seahawks, joining likes of Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse as undrafted free agents to contribute for the Seahawks.
''(Rawls) has something about him that we thought might be special, so that's why we made that choice,'' Carroll said.
NOTES: Carroll said C Patrick Lewis (ankle) and WR Baldwin (ankle) both will be checked out later in the week but are expected to be able to play. ... Carroll indicated CB Jeremy Lane likely will be added to the 53-man roster sometime this week. Lane has been on the physically unable to perform list, but returned to practice on Nov. 9. ... CB Cary Williams was benched Sunday and Carroll said there will be an open competition including Williams, Lane and DeShawn Shead.
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