MIAMI – There aren't many 33-year-old professional athletes who can do what Marshawn Lynch accomplished this season.
After being away from football for 14 months, Lynch decided he wanted to get back in the game. He spent two weeks putting his body through hell to try and get back in shape before signing with the Seahawks.
"He's a freak of nature," former Seahawks running back Justin Forsett said on the Talkin' Seahawks Podcast. "I've never seen anybody that's as physically gifted as him. If anybody could come back after having that much time off, it would be him."
He made his return against the 49ers in Week 17 and served as Seattle's No. 1 running back in playoff games against the Eagles and Packers. His meager 2.233 yards per carry had many people saying Lynch was washed up and didn't have any gas in the tank. Lynch's four touchdowns and a collection of highlight-reel plays might suggest otherwise.
It's also important to consider just how impressive it was that Lynch played in three-straight games given the length of his absence. He didn't have any sort of offseason program. He didn't have a training camp. Lynch essentially just came off the couch and managed to run the ball 30 times in three weeks without suffering an injury or missing a single practice.
"He had some juice left, man," Forsett said. "He can have a role there next year. If they can work out something, I think he could be back and provide a lot to that team and that locker room."
Lynch's contributions as a leader and a teammate are immeasurable. His sideline conversation with Travis Homer went viral, and he gave a poignant address to the team following Seattle's loss in Green Bay. In addition, Lynch made sure Homer and Robert Turbin ran onto the field with him during player intros in Week 17.
Forsett knows all about that. He played college ball with Lynch at California and again with the Seahawks in 2010-11. There were times when Lynch would sub himself out of games to make sure Forsett got more touches.
"He's one of the best teammates I ever had. Without him being my teammate or being in my life, I probably wouldn't have made it as far as I did," Forsett said. "He's a special guy. He loves to serve. He loves to give back."
Lynch will ultimately have to decide whether or not he wants to fully commit to playing football this offseason. If he does so, there's no reason why he can't be a better version of himself than the abbreviated 2019 version.
It feels like a longshot that he'll be on the Seahawks roster (or any other team for that matter) in Week 1, but it's fun offseason fodder nonetheless.
Justin Forsett believes Marshawn Lynch could help the Seahawks in 2020 originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest