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Seattle Seahawks

Walker, Charbonnet nursing injuries

There's not much happening in the NFL right now, until it happens. So it was that just as we were putting the latest preseason update to bed last night, the news came out that Seattle's top 2 running backs were hurt. Hope you don't have a draft tonight.

Kenneth Walker (pictured) has a groin injury, while rookie Zach Charbonnet has a shoulder injury. As usual, Pete Carroll managed to share the news with his usual optimism and lack of clarity -- those guys could be back this week, or miss regular season games. A lot of guesswork is required.

With Walker, Carroll says, “He’s got a little groin thing that kind of bothered him getting into camp here so we’re just keeping him quiet for a bit.” Carroll was also vague on Charbonnet: “He’s got a little shoulder thing that we’re checking out right now." All clear?

The good news (I think) is that since Carroll says Walker entered camp with the injury, it might just be a minor strain or soreness -- not something where he tore anything running a route, at least based on Carroll's words. And similarly with Charbonnet; when I hear shoulder I'm thinking like a torn labrum or fracture, which would be a long-term thing, but Carroll went on to say "It just kind of creeped up on him. He didn’t get hit or anything like that. All the sudden he started to feel something — checking him out and being really cautious right now.’’

The season is nearly six weeks away, so hopefully neither injury is a big deal, and both guys will be back on the practice field in a week or two. Alternately, if you're a fan of one of these players, perhaps the news will be troubling enough on one of them that it will start to look good for the other being a featured guy, and possibly in line for more of a workhorse role than initially expected.

Or maybe one of the other backs on the roster will start to look like a sleeper. Next in line are veteran fourth-rounder DeeJay Dallas and rookie seventh-rounder Kenny McIntosh out of Georgia. Those guys weren't hot draft commodities (McIntosh, somewhat surprisingly considering his success at Georgia, was barely drafted at all), but Seattle has had some success with later-round backs before.

Since Carroll took over, the Seahawks have put five different running backs selected in the fourth round or later (including two not drafted at all) into the top 50 at the position (PPR). Chris Carson is the most notable of these players, but Rawls and Davis (originally a 49er) had a nice season or two and McKissic went on to have a notable career (although his best seasons were with Washington).

CARROLL RUNNING BACKS, LATE OR UNDRAFTED, TOP 50 SEASONS
RdYearPlayerRunNoRecTDPPRRk
72019Chris Carson1230372669240.612
72018Chris Carson1151201639205.415
72020Chris Carson681372879187.820
42018Mike Davis514342145136.836
U2015Thomas Rawls8309765129.637
72010Justin Forsett523332522122.540
U2017J.D. McKissic18734266397.349

The linked story notes that Dallas and McIntosh are getting the bulk of the work in practices right now. Dallas has had a leading role before (without doing much with it), but he did average 5.3 yards per carry last season, and is a capable receiver. So was McIntosh at Georgia; he caught 43 passes last year, and he's got decent size (6-0, 204 at the combine). I picked him up in my dynasty league last night, 'cause you never know.

If it turns out either Walker or Charbonnet is seriously hurt, one of these guys should come into a decent workload. And it's a reminder that you can never have too many running backs; it's why teams continually add to the position, and why you need to roster plenty in fantasy leagues. Today's starter is on the shelf tomorrow.

Even if it's, to quote Carroll, "just a little thing."

--Andy Richardson

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