Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch may be “leaning toward retirement,” General Manager John Schneider said in a pair of radio interviews Friday.
Schneider said that he believes Lynch is leaning toward calling it a career after an injury-filled 2015 season.
Schneider first appeared on KIRO, the team’s flagship station, saying the team was going to give Lynch time to decide what he wants to do, but added he was “under the impression,” Lynch was leaning toward retirement.
Later on KJR, Schneider hedged his comments slightly, but reiterated that he thought Lynch was considering stepping away.
“I really, honestly don’t know at this point,” Schneider said. “If you put a gun to my head I would say he is leaning toward retirement. But I think with Marshawn you never really know. He’s a fierce competitor. We just have to handle it the right way in terms of showing him as much respect as we possibly can for everything he’s done for this organization.”
Lynch was limited to just seven regular-season games in 2015, first bothered by hamstring and calf issues and later missing the final seven regular-season games with an abdominal injury that required surgery. Lynch returned for the NFC divisional playoff game at Carolina but was mostly a non-factor with the Seahawks falling behind in the opening moments of the loss.
Panthers’ Allen won’t play
Carolina Panthers Coach Ron Rivera says defensive end Jared Allen has been ruled out for Sunday’s NFC championship game against the Arizona Cardinals because of a foot injury.
Kony Ealy will start in his place.
Allen broke a bone in his foot in the fourth quarter of Carolina’s 31-24 win over Seattle last Sunday. He practiced Thursday, raising hope that he might play.
Allen expressed frustration over the decision as he walked out of the locker room, saying he was “disappointed” and feels healthy enough to play.
Rivera says it was a difficult decision, saying Allen is a “warrior.” The coach hoped Allen would be ready to play in two weeks in the Super Bowl if Carolina were to win Sunday.
Jaguars’ Bradley gets extension
The Jacksonville Jaguars have given Coach Gus Bradley a one-year contract extension through 2017 and promoted Todd Wash to defensive coordinator.
Bradley is 12-36 in three seasons, and General Manager Dave Caldwell says extending him “solidifies Gus’ good standing with our current players, provides certainty for free agents who may be considering the Jaguars and helps to deliver the continuity throughout our coaching staff that we think is critical for us to turn the corner.”
Wash replaces Bob Babich, who was fired earlier this month after Jacksonville gave up the second-most points (448) in franchise history.
Wheels still turning
The authority that runs Oakland Coliseum will meet behind closed doors Monday to discuss how it will approach a lease extension for the Raiders, providing further indication that the team is staying put for at least one more season.
With Raiders owner Mark Davis still weighing his options after the NFL blocked him from moving to Los Angeles next season, he is likely to want another one-year lease in Oakland while continuing to negotiate with city leaders for a new stadium.
Meanwhile, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the St. Louis stadium task force prepared and submitted a “very actionable” plan to the NFL, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said. The league, Nixon said, fabricated reasons to disregard the proposal and approve the Rams’ relocation to Los Angeles.
“It was very disappointing that we followed the guidelines, did what folks said, and that wasn’t enough here,” Nixon said, in his first lengthy comments on the subject. “When you look at everything that was done, we met the guidelines.”
New England’s Danny Amendola has been fined $23,152 for a blindside block during a punt in the Patriots’ playoff victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Amendola was back as the return man when Kansas City’s Jamell Fleming circled under a kick in an attempt to down it inside the five-yard line. Amendola lowered his head and took the Chiefs’ coverage man out with a hit to the shoulder and head. He was flagged for unnecessary roughness.
Patriots Coach Bill Belichick defended the hit, saying this week, “It was a legal play. We’re allowed to block him.”