Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell indicated Tuesday that Rawls will be Seattle's primary tailback Thursday night against the Arizona Cardinals. Bevell's comments confirmed what seemed like the likely outcome after Eddie Lacy suffered a groin injury that knocked him out of Sunday's game.
"We love Thomas," Bevell said. "He's going to be our guy and we'll ride with him. We know he has history with us and he's done a great job for us."
And so the revolving door that has been Seattle's backfield this season takes another turn. Rookie Chris Carson beat out Rawls and Lacy to be the team's starter entering the season, but he went down in Week 4 with an ankle injury that required surgery. Rawls and Lacy shared carries over the next three games before the Seahawks decided to give Lacy a shot to take over last week.
He carried six times for 20 yards against the Washington Redskins before leaving the game for good in the first half with a groin injury. Rawls finished with 39 yards on nine carries while J.D. McKissic carried three times for 12 yards.
Seattle has struggled to mount a consistent rushing attack this season, never more than in Week 8 against the Houston Texans. The Seahawks ran for only 33 yards in that game, with 30 of them coming on Russell Wilson scrambles.
The Seahawks were pleased with the progress they made in their 148-yard effort Sunday. While Wilson again accounted for a large chunk of that total -- 77 yards on 10 carries -- Rawls and McKissic both averaged at least four yards per attempt.
"We liked what we saw," Bevell said. "It's unfortunate that Eddie went down when he did because you could kind of see there was some things that were coming along nicely. Really, the biggest factor is eliminating those minus-yardage plays from the week before, and you could see that."
C.J. Prosise appears to be on track to return this week from a high-ankle sprain that has kept him out for the majority of the past four games. Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that Prosise is expected to play Thursday night. The Seahawks listed him as a full participant Monday and Tuesday (with the team holding walk-throughs this week, the listed participation was an estimation of what would have occurred in an actual practice).
Lacy hasn't practiced this week. With his status for Thursday night in apparent doubt, Seattle may have to expand Prosise's role beyond his normal third-down duties.
Seattle is also without a true fullback after placing Tre Madden (calf) on injured reserve Tuesday. The Seahawks have used tight end Luke Willson in a pseudo-fullback role when they haven't had one. Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson also played some fullback in goal-line situations when he was with the New York Jets.
For now, though, the Seahawks will apparently head into the Arizona game with Rawls, McKissic and likely Prosise as their only three running backs.
"There's nobody else that's going to be coming in here by tomorrow, so we've got to go with that," Bevell said.