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Wagner returns to practice, Lynch sits

It’s felt like an eternity since we last saw #54 in a uniform, but the wait is officially over: Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner returned to his first practice Wednesday since Oct. 10, and Pete Carroll has since said he’ll play in Sunday’s Week 12 matchup against Arizona.

Since injuring his toe in Week 6 against the Cowboys, the Seahawks just haven’t looked the same on defense. If you recall during that game, Wagner somehow managed to pull through, even after suffering the injury. This led many of us to believe – myself included – that the injury wouldn’t cause him to miss much time. Sadly, we were wrong.

As we’ve all seen during his absence, though, the Seahawks’ front seven suffers without Wagner manning the middle. With Cardinals’ RB Andre Ellington only averaging 1.75 YPC over his past two games, Wagner’s presence will ideally help to shut down the run completely, and force Drew Stanton to take risky downfield shots in Richard Sherman’s direction.

In other news, Marshawn Lynch was held out of practice for the second consecutive day Thursday. Don’t read too much into the “questionable” status by his name on the injury report – he never practices very much at this point in the season, and 2014 isn’t an exception. The Seahawks will need him more than ever with AZ’s top-ranked defense coming to town. And with the way he’s been playing, Lynch needs to be given every possible chance he can get in the red zone.

Nothing against Doug Baldwin, but that also means we shouldn’t be seeing any back-shoulder fades going his way on 4th & 2. Give Beast the rock, and he’ll pound it in. It may sound dramatic to say, but Seattle’s playoff chances may very well hinge on it.

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