Marshawn Lynch’s injury may mean we have seen the last of the Raiders running back in the NFL. As Lynch’s groin injury lingered, the Raiders placed the running back on injured reserve meaning the soonest he could return would be Christmas Eve against the Steelers per NBC Bay Area.
Given the way the Raiders’ season is going, it seems unlikely we will see Lynch again this season which could put his career in jeopardy. Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has admitted it will be “very difficult” for Lynch to return this season.
“I don’t know. I would say it would be very difficult, but I’m never going to shut the door with a guy like that,” Gruden told NBC Sports. “We’ve got a number of players, we already talked about (defensive tackle Justin Ellis) and Donald Penn, where we will see what happens with how fast they heal.”
Plenty of Fans Are Wondering If Marshawn Lynch Will Retire if the Raiders Do Not Play in Oakland Next Season
Expect the Lynch retirement rumors to heat up as the season nears an end. Lynch is on the final year of a two-year deal he signed with the Raiders. Lynch already retired once in 2016, but returned to the NFL to play in his hometown of Oakland. Lynch could sign a new contract this offseason, but it seems unlikely with the Raiders time in Oakland coming to a close.
The Raiders 2019 location is up in the air as the team waits for their new Las Vegas stadium, but the relationship with the city of Oakland has deteriorated so much that the team could find a temporary home after this season.
While Lynch has flashed at times, he is not the same running back he was in Seattle when the Seahawks were contending for Super Bowls. Lynch has not rushed for more than 1,000 yards since 2014. Lynch is averaging a respectable 4.2 yards per carry, so the decline in numbers also has a lot to do with his usage since arriving in Oakland.
Prior to his injury, Gruden praised Lynch after the Raiders running back rushed for 130 yards earlier this season against the Browns.
“If that’s not a Hall of Fame back, I don’t know what is, honestly,” Gruden noted to ESPN. “I mean, what he did yesterday, what he’s done since he’s been here, it’s incredible. He wants the ball more, and more, and more. We’ve got a good back over there, Doug Martin, who’s ready to roll. And Doug can’t get on the field. This guy (Lynch) does not want to come off the field. He picked up six or seven blitzes yesterday, too, that no one’s talking about. But some of the runs? Good night.”
It will be interesting to see if Lynch and the Raiders can come to terms on a new deal. Lynch has not commented on his future publicly, and it will be worth watching whether he still has a desire to suit up if the Raiders are no longer playing in Oakland.