It has been a short while since Marshawn Lynch last played in an NFL game.
Soon after that game, Lynch decided to retire. But when he heard the Oakland Raiders would be leaving his hometown for Las Vegas, Lynch decided he wanted to join the team while they were still in Oakland. The Seahawks traded the 10-year veteran to his hometown team in April.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is eager to see how Lynch performs in his first game back since his retirement when Oakland faces the Tennessee Titans in the season-opener in Nashville on Sunday.
“I think anybody with a year off from football would bode well,” said Carr, who’s entering his fourth season. “It’s hard on your body, especially the way that he plays, and he plays running back. We talk about it all the time – I think running back, physically, is one of the most demanding positions in all of sports; the pounding it takes, the speed you have to run.”
In a game against the Titans in 2013, Lynch had 21 carries for 77 yards and two touchdowns. He also had four receptions for 78 yards.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey said he knows what Lynch is capable of. “I’m not going to be caught off guard with him. He’s a very big, physical back. Obviously, he’s rested. I don’t think there will be any slow-down in his game. He’s got that mentality that he can’t be stopped and that’s the biggest part of playing at this level. If you don’t think they can stop you, it’s hard to.”
Lynch played sparingly in just two games in the exhibition season.
“He seems fresh, energized. He’s really excited, I can tell you,” Carr said Wednesday. “We’ve had a couple of walk-throughs now, and he’s already almost going full speed, so it’ll be fun to see him turn it on.”