Carroll spins Lynch’s rehab choice, thinks he can make playoffs

Lynch stretchingMarshawn Lynch’s trademark was approved Wednesday for his infamous phrase, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”

Funny timing, considering he isn’t “here” in Seattle and won’t get fined for it.

Pete Carroll said Lynch might make it back for the first playoff game, and the coach also deflected concerns that the team is not controlling Lynch’s rehab as the running back recovers from abdominal surgery.

Lynch has been working with his personal trainer in the Bay Area, as he does every offseason, and Carroll has been relying on reports from that crew regarding Lynch’s progress.

“I would think he can make it back (for the playoffs),” Carroll said. “That’s what we hear. It’s really up to that day-to-day kind of progression that he’s making. There’s a lot of days between next week starting up. We’ll see what happens.”

Carroll said Lynch is “in the final mode of his rehab, but he’s not ready yet to be here.”

Carroll can’t come right out and say he has no control over Lynch, so the coach just rolls with it and spins it positively.

“We trust the process from what’s happened in the past,” Carroll said, referencing Lynch’s offseason training in the Bay. “They know him really well in this mode, and we have a really good relationship with the guys that are doing it. So we really feel confident that we’re doing it the right way.”

What else is Carroll going to say? He has no choice in the matter, other than to create tension by commanding Lynch to do something he doesn’t want to do.

Asked about Lynch being handled differently than other players, Carroll said, “I think we’ve had a long run together. It’s been a really good relationship of getting through it and helping him be the best he can be and him helping our team be the best we can be. It’s been a good story for us.

“He’s been a remarkable football player. So we continue to work with him to make sure that we’re helping him in every way that we can. The language is the same that we would use for any of our guys, and we’re going to keep trying to figure out what’s best for them so that they can be at their best, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Richard Sherman said players do not mind that Lynch is handled differently.

“Whatever works. Different strokes for different folks,” he said. “We know when that guy comes in the building and he gets on the field, there’s nobody like him. There’s nobody who’s giving more effort, who’s going to sacrifice more for their team. There’s no question about his loyalty to the team or his work ethic or anything like that. That guy is exactly who we think he is. If he needs to rehab at home, we’re all for it. We know he keeps the team first in his heart, so we have no questions about his intentions or anything.”

That, more than anything, explains why Carroll does not mind Lynch doing his thing his way — especially if it means Lynch will be back doing his thing on the field in the playoffs.

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