RENTON -- Though Thomas Rawls got the start against the San Francisco 49ers, Chris Carson was clearly the finisher.
Carson took nearly all the running back snaps after the first quarter and finished the game with 93 yards on 20 carries for Seattle. He was also vitally important in the Seahawks' ability to close out the game in the closing minutes. Carson gained 41 yards on five runs on Seattle's final possession to enable the team to kneel out a 12-9 victory.
"I think we got something," head coach Pete Carroll said of Carson after the game. "I think he's a really good football player."
Carroll expanded the impression Carson has made through two games on Monday.
"I think we can have very high expectations for Chris' play," Carroll said. "... Everything that he has done has been very, very consistent. I think he can continue to go. He didn't have any problem carrying it 20 times, which is a good sign. ... He's done everything we've really asked of him so we're going to keep going with him and mix him in with the fellas and try to get a really good production out of that position."
Carson has shown to be effective in all aspects of the game for Seattle. He has 132 yards on 26 carries with two receptions for 17 yards as well. He has been capable as a blocker in the passing game as well. He was effective in the preseason as well, carrying 24 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns and catching four passes for 64 yards.
"He's the real deal, he's the real deal," wide receiver Doug Baldwin said Sunday night. "I've been telling y'all that since training camp, he is the real deal. There's an aspect to him mentally that you don't find in football players; it's very hard to find that aspect mentally in a football player, and Chris Carson has it. He's going to be a phenomenal running back in this league for as long as he wants to be."
Rawls had just four yards on five carries in his 2017 debut on Sunday.
"Thomas got his start and got going," Carroll said. "He is out there playing and that was kind of what we were hoping to get done and now we can move ahead with that. He is underway."
While Rawls was ineffective in his limited carries, Eddie Lacy wasn't even available to play after being a healthy scratch.
"It was really unfortunate that we had to make that move because I want Eddie playing," Carroll said. "But we did it to make sure we would get Thomas up and a couple things that we were concerned about.
"It depends on what is going on with the rest of the roster and who we can get keep up and who we can’t get up, so it’s just a weekly challenge for us to figure out. We want everyone out, but we can’t have that all the time."
The bottom line is Carson has showed something interesting in just about every opportunity he's received this year since being selected in the seventh-round of May's NFL Draft.
-- Tight end Jimmy Graham injured his left ankle in Sunday's game against the 49ers. Safety Eric Reid felt into the back of Graham's legs while trying to tackle Carson and caught Graham's foot.
"He's got a sore ankle," Carroll said. "We've got to figure out what that means. We don't know yet.
"It certainly (affected him). We had some stuff going to him early and it didn't hook up and he was not 100 percent but he finished and did a great job of doing that. But he was banged up."
Graham has just four catches for nine yards on 10 targets through two games this season. Carroll said they haven't ruled out Graham playing this week.
-- Cornerback Neiko Thorpe injured his right ankle on a kickoff return. Linebacker Michael Wilhoite tumbled into the side of his right ankle on the play.. He left the field on a cart but the injury doesn't appear to be too significant. It's not a high-ankle sprain and Carroll said he hasn't been ruled out for this week's game against the Tennessee Titans. Thorpe is one of Seattle's best special teams performers.
-- Safety Bradley McDougald played six snaps as Seattle elected to use a "big nickel" package against the 49ers. Instead of a cornerback replacing a linebacker, McDougald - a third safety - was the replacement piece instead.
"He is a very versatile football player and it’s always good to get a really good guy on the field. He made a couple plays that maybe a linebacker wouldn’t have made in replacing him in that situation. It’s good. I love getting him out there. He has done a great job."
-- Carroll said that the offensive line played better against the 49ers but also indicated that changes could be coming this week.
"We are always working to see how we can fix things and adjust so, there will be some things that will be a little bit different this week," Carroll said.
What could those changes be? Seattle could elect to make a swap at fullback and bring Marcel Reece back now that they no longer have to guarantee his contract. Also, a swap of Oday Aboushi for Mark Glowinski at right guard would seem to be the most likely change on the offensive line.
If Graham is unable to play, it could necessitate Seattle adding a tight end - possibly Tyrone Swoopes - from the practice squad.
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Running back Chris Carson #32 of the Seattle Seahawks rushes against the San Francisco 49ers during the third quarter of the game at CenturyLink Field on September 17, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers 12-9. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)