Despite returning to practice this week following hernia surgery several weeks ago, Marshawn Lynch was officially ruled ‘out’ for Sunday’s wild-card game against the Minnesota Vikings. According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the decision was made after Lynch himself told the team he felt he wasn’t able to play: https://twitter.com/RapSheet/status/685679347617918976?s=07 The downgrade in Lynch’s availability seems at odds with reports coming out of the Seahawks’ camp all week, with Lynch being listed as having ‘full participation’ in every practice. Even earlier on Friday, according to ESPN, head coach Pete Carroll had declared on a local radio show that Lynch would play in this weekend’s playoff game, and in that same report, ESPN claim that that Lynch didn’t suffer any kind of setback in Friday’s practice, making the news curious. Still, Lynch is only six weeks removed from his hernia surgery, which may have effected his decision – though it should be noted that recovery time for a full return to sports activity is usually around four weeks. Lynch may have also felt that he would have been a liability if he couldn’t perform at his best. Nonetheless, some will question why Lynch made the decision he couldn’t play two days before the game, rather than waiting until the last possible minute. It’s also worth noting that Lynch did not travel to the team with Minnesota. This could suggest that, contrary to the reports, he did suffer a setback on Friday and stayed behind to receive treatment at the team facility – but if this isn’t the case, then his not travelling with the team to cheer them on from the sideline will raise a few eyebrows. In terms of the game itself, this will again put more pressure on Russell Wilson, who has had to very much carry the team since the Seahawks’ backup running back, Thomas Rawls, suffered a fractured ankle in mid-December. With Sunday’s game predicted to be the coldest NFL playoff game since 1981’s “Freezer Bowl“, not having a steady run game to rely on will make this game even more difficult for the sixth-seed Seahawks.