New England Patriots defensive lineman Trey Flowers (98) chases Seattle Seahawks running back C.J. Prosise (22) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa
November 16, 2016

RENTON, Wash. (AP) Thomas Rawls is back practicing with Seattle for the first time since Week 2. C.J. Prosise showed last week that he could be a solution for the Seahawks' underachieving run game.

And Christine Michael has once again been discarded by the Seahawks.

There are definitive changes that Seattle has made in an attempt to spark the 30th-ranked running offense in the NFL, centered on the belief that the combo of Rawls and Prosise can be the answer.

''We're going with guys that we want to go with,'' Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. ''We're excited about where we're moving and think it's going to fit together really well. You'll find out. You'll have a chance to see what you think here in a couple weeks.''

The makeover of Seattle's run game took a drastic turn in the past few days. First was Prosise becoming the primary ball carrier in last Sunday's 31-24 victory over New England , relegating Michael to a supporting role. Prosise had 17 carries for 66 yards, while Michael was on the field for only 11 plays and touched the ball just six times. Seattle finished with 96 yards rushing as a team, which is still a meager total compared to what the Seahawks have done in the past, but was their highest since Week 3.

It was clear that a shift was happening and Michael's time as the primary running back was ending, despite rushing for 469 yards and six touchdowns. But the move to waive Michael and replace him on the roster with undrafted rookie Troymaine Pope was a clear indication of what Seattle wants the hierarchy to be going forward.

''C.J. did a really good job. He's doing the things we like seeing in him. We look forward to continue growing with him. That's one,'' Carroll said. ''Thomas coming back, that's two, and we're all really excited about that. We've been waiting for that to happen.''

A year ago, Rawls was a breakout star, rushing for 830 yards and four touchdowns in seven starts while filling in for injured starter Marshawn Lynch. Rawls was on pace for a 1,000-yard season, despite getting limited carries early, before suffering a broken ankle in December against Baltimore.

Assuming he makes it through practice without setbacks, Rawls isn't likely to be thrown back into carrying a huge load against Philadelphia. Before getting hurt in the first half of the Week 2 loss at Los Angeles, Rawls had just 19 carries for 25 yards and no run of longer than eight yards.

But how the carries are split appears to be less of a concern after what Prosise showed against New England. There were numerous questions about the one-time wide receiver who converted to running back at Notre Dame, most notably whether he had the toughness to be more than a third-down back.

That seemed to be answered with one play in the first quarter when Prosise caught a short pass, raced down the sideline and lowered his shoulder into Duron Harmon and sent the defensive back sprawling.

''I was being physical, running downhill and initiating contact,'' Prosise said. ''That's something I've been working on my game to get better at.''

The play resonated with his teammates, who erupted on the sideline after seeing Prosise show a level of physical play that was sometimes missing with Michael.

''Our whole sideline exploded in excitement about that,'' wide receiver Doug Baldwin said. ''Football is a violent sport and when you see things like that in that nature from guys you really haven't seen anything from it gets you excited.''

NOTES: Carroll expected LT Bradley Sowell (knee) and TE Luke Willson (knee) to be available this week. But he did not commit to whether Sowell will return to left tackle or if rookie George Fant will continue to start. Carroll noted that Fant had no assignment mistakes in the win over New England. ... DE Michael Bennett (knee) is hoping to return next week against Tampa Bay. ... SS Kam Chancellor was named NFC defensive player of the week.


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