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Carroll optimistic Marshawn Lynch will play vs. Panthers, but no guarantees

RENTON, Wash. -- Pete Carroll is optimistic Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch will return this week, though the Seattle coach stopped short of making any guarantees.

"[Lynch is] supposed to be back," Carroll said. "He had a good workout today, and he should be on track for Thursday."

Lynch (hamstring) has missed consecutive games for the first time since joining the Seahawks. He did not travel with the team to Cincinnati this past weekend.

Rookie Thomas Rawls has played well in Lynch's absence, averaging 5.6 YPC on 58 attempts. Carroll indicated Rawls will still be part of the offense, even if Lynch returns. The Seahawks take on the undefeated Carolina Panthers at home on Sunday.

On the defensive side of the ball, Pro Bowl middle linebacker Bobby Wagner suffered a strained pectoral muscle during Sunday's loss to the Bengals, but he played through it. His status for Week 6 is uncertain.