Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) looks at an injured Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls (34) during the first half an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky
December 14, 2015

RENTON, Wash. (AP) As the Seattle Seahawks continue their roll toward the postseason in part because of record-setting play for Russell Wilson, they keep running into roadblocks.

First was the abdominal surgery that put Marshawn Lynch on the bench. Then the knee injury to Jimmy Graham that ended his first season with Seattle prematurely.

And most recently, the broken ankle and ligament damage suffered on Sunday in Seattle's 35-6 win over Baltimore by rookie running back Thomas Rawls, who had proven more than capable as Lynch's replacement.

In a way, all those obstacles have made what Wilson and the Seahawks have accomplished over the past four weeks even more impressive.

Wilson has put together one of the finest four-week stretches of quarterbacking at least in Seattle history, putting together a string of performances that are tough to match and propelled the Seahawks back into the discussion among the favorites in the NFC even if their playoff path is almost certain to be as a wild-card team.

But now the question will be can the Seahawks keep this stretch of exceptional offensive play going forward with yet another significant loss on offense.

''Our commitment is going to stay the same because we have a balance that we really play with. We have a philosophy and an approach that doesn't need to be changed right now,'' Seattle coach Pete Carroll said on Monday.

''If we were having issues and troubles then maybe something would happen. The whole idea of being a balanced attack is when you need it you can go to it and if we need to throw the football more we will. If we need to run the football more we will.''

Wilson's past four games have been remarkable. According to STATS, Wilson is the first quarterback going back to 1960 to have four straight games with a passer rating of 138.5 or higher. He's thrown for 1,171 yards, completed 75.4 percent of his throws, thrown 16 touchdowns and had zero interceptions.

And he's done most of it without needing to run for safety and scrambling from the pass rush. Seattle's offensive line has been equal to its quarterback and allowed Wilson to throw on time and without stress.

''When everything starts functioning right it can just go,'' Carroll said. ''There's been a lot of years where we've had really good finishes and score a lot of points and put up a lot of numbers and this is like that.''

Because of the uncertainty regarding when Lynch will return, the Seahawks signed Bryce Brown on Monday to add depth at running back. It will be DuJuan Harris and Brown likely carrying the load on first and second downs and Fred Jackson continuing his role as the third-down back going forward until Lynch is back.

After making a brief appearance at the team's headquarters last week, Carroll said Lynch will be doing his rehab offsite until he's ready to start practicing again. But there continues to be no estimate on when that'll be.

''He went through a big surgery. He's got a lot to get through. He's got to get past that, whatever impact that has had and then he's got to get back into football shape and get going,'' Carroll said.

Having a successful run game is crucial because the performance of Wilson has been based around the balance of what Rawls provided.

That will be the question going forward until Lynch returns whether that balance can remain with journeymen running backs filling in. Harris finished with 18 carries on Sunday, but averaged just 2.3 yards per attempt.

Rawls was on pace for another 100-yard game until he was injured.

''Right now we're going to stay on course and continue to push our approach and see that we can't keep it on a really good track,'' Carroll said.

NOTES: Seattle TE Luke Willson had an MRI on Monday on his ribs after getting hurt against the Ravens. Carroll said the initial diagnosis was bruised ribs. ... SS Kam Chancellor is unlikely to practice Wednesday after suffering a bruised tailbone. Kelcie McCray filled in after Chancellor was injured in the first quarter. ... DBs DeShawn Shead and Marcus Burley both suffered sprained ankles and will be evaluated later in the week.

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