Rashaad Penny Justifies Chris Carson’s Offseason Praise

Rashaad Penny

Getty Rashaad Penny has produced when healthy.

The Seattle Seahawks fell to the Chicago Bears on December 26, eliminating them from playoff contention. The team continued to struggle in key moments, but Rashaad Penny delivered another 100-yard rushing performance while justifying some preseason comments by teammate Chris Carson.

Back on April 15, Carson met with members of the media to discuss his decision to return to the Seahawks on a multi-year deal. He explained that both Russell Wilson and Penny campaigned for him to return to the Pacific Northwest before making some bold comments about the backfield and its prospects.

“If we stay healthy, I think we can be one of the top rushing duos in the league,” Carson said, transcript courtesy of the Seahawks. “We both bring different things to the game, different attributes, but we complement each other so well. I just feel like his limit is ridiculous once he starts getting his feet wet in the game. I think it’ll be something special.”

Injuries have obviously limited both Carson and Penny during the 2021 season. Carson underwent surgery to repair a neck issue and will not return until 2022. Penny missed six games due to lingering injuries. Once he returned, however, he turned a significant corner.

Penny has taken over as the starting running back in Seattle and has accounted for two games with more than 130 rushing yards. He rushed for a career-high 137 yards and two touchdowns against the Texans on December 12 and then rushed for 135 yards and one score against the Bears on December 26. He also averaged 7.94 yards per carry during the loss to the Bears.

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Penny Has Plans To Continue Producing in Seattle

The Seahawks put Penny’s future in doubt prior to the season by opting to not pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. This decision meant that he would become a free agent after the 2021 season and would have to secure a new deal with the NFC West team or another suitor.

The early-season injuries created further questions about Penny’s future in Seattle, but he has changed the conversation with his performances since taking over as the starting running back. Head coach Pete Carroll said that Penny “looks really good” and said that the team needs him while the running back explained that he feels he has played his way back into the organization’s plans.

“I hope so. I come out to win games and help contribute,” Penny said during his postgame media availability. “I think that’s the number one thing for me. Again, staying injury-free and just being positive and doing whatever it takes to help win. That’s all it is.”

Wilson Highlighted Penny’s Production on the Field

Wilson also addressed Penny’s season during his postgame availability. He explained that the former first-round pick has been fighting his whole career to get back to playing at a high level — referencing the numerous injuries — and said that these recent stretches of production have been a highlight.

“The thing about Rashaad Penny, I think he has had three or four great games,” Wilson said during his postgame availability on December 26. “He has been battling. I know in the Rams game he got kind of pulled up a little bit there on one of the plays, but I think the Houston game was exceptional. I think this game was exceptional. Just how he was running the ball, how physical he was. That was really cool to see. He has put the work in, and I think any time you put the work in, a lot of times it comes to fruition at some point.”

The Seahawks are out of playoff contention, but Penny will have two more games to prove that he belongs in Seattle. He will face off with the Detroit Lions on January 2 and then finish out the year with a game against the Arizona Cardinals on January 9. If he can gain 21 yards total in these two weeks, he will surpass his career-best 419 yards from the 2018 season.

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