Marshawn Lynch returns: 'A great feeling to be back'

Beast Mode is back. What mode Marshawn Lynch operates in Sunday night has suddenly become the biggest storyline heading into the Seahawks' division title fight with the 49ers.

At the very least, the Week 17 signing should provide a jolt to a Seattle locker room that just saw its top three running backs go down within the last month. A familiar face in Lynch was a welcome sight.

"When you get to add somebody like that to your team, it only helps and enhances the mentality that we already cherish anyway," coach Pete Carroll told reporters Tuesday. "We'll find out how he can play and how he does. It's been a little while off, he looks great in the first couple looks at him, as far as his conditioning and all of that. His weight's down, he's in a really good spot."

Lynch spoke to reporters following Tuesday's practice session and had a short response when asked what brought him back to Seattle: "Happy holidays. Merry New Year. Y'all have a great day. It's a great feeling to be back. Thank you."

Signing Lynch could prove fortuitous for both parties if the former All-Pro can help Seattle claim the NFC West crown and/or embark on a deep playoff run. While the move is a byproduct of the Seahawks losing Chris Carson this past weekend, the idea to bring Lynch back wasn't conceived overnight. As NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported, Seattle hosted the 33-year-old a few weeks ago and opened the door for a potential reunion after Rashaad Penny tore his ACL.

Lynch, who Carroll said had a program to remain in shape following groin surgery last year, ramped up his activity in December in case the Seahawks came calling. He joins them just in time to make a playoff push.

"He was very serious about getting ready for this opportunity," Carroll said. "And the stroke of misfortune in some regards really opens up the door which happens at times and he's ready to take the full opportunity at hand and see what he can do to help us."

Linebacker Bobby Wagner said Lynch "looked like he normally looks."

"He's a guy that you know is going to be ready," Wagner said during an appearance on NFL Total Access prior to Tuesday's walkthrough practice. "They're going to kind of slowly put him back into the game. But whenever he has the ball, you know he's going to bring the power."

Carroll, in fact, called him as physical a player as he's been around. He also cautioned that Lynch and Robert Turbin, whom the Seahawks also signed Monday and served as Lynch's backup for three seasons, have a lot of ground to cover between now and kickoff. Both have been out of football for more than a year and away from Seattle for at least four.

"When you get on the field with them and they start hearing the huddle calls come rattling out around and the rhythm and the quickness of all of that, they're taxed some," Carroll said. "Both of these guys are good ball players, they've been through a lot. They know a lot of stuff; football comes easy to them. But still they're going to have to put together a really good week to really have the hold on it so they can have command and feel confident and play like they want to play."

It's anyone's guess right now how much Lynch is involved in the regular-season finale. Seattle's lone holdover is rookie Travis Homer, who's carried the ball eight times this season, five of which came in the Week 16 loss to the Cardinals. The Seahawks have the third-most rushing attempts this year, so the carries have to go somewhere.

What we know is that, after first retiring from Seattle a few years ago with a tweet in the middle of Super Bowl 50, Lynch has put the cleats back on.

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