Following a career day in a 20-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals, expect to see plenty more of Seattle Seahawks running back Mike Davis moving forward.
Less than 24 hours after posting his first 100-plus yard rushing performance, coach Pete Carroll indicated Seattle will have to find ways to keep the fourth-year back out of South Carolina involved offensively.
"He's going to fit in somewhere. He needs to play, he needs to be part of it. So we'll work that out."
Davis, 25, earned a promotion to the Seahawks active roster last November and started six games for the Seahawks, rushing for 240 yards and catching 15 passes for 131 yards. Though he averaged only 3.5 yards per carry, he gave Seattle a spark after veterans Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls, and C.J. Prosise all struggled through injury-marred seasons.
Despite his admiral performance behind a shaky offensive line, the odds remained stacked against Davis entering this season, as Seattle used a first-round pick to draft Rashaad Penny out of San Diego State and Chris Carson returned from a broken ankle. The Seahawks also remained optimistic about Prosise contributing, though he's once again been unable to stay healthy long enough to make an impact.
Due to his versatility and toughness out of the backfield, Seattle kept Davis on the 53-man roster and he's been ahead of Prosise for snaps all season. Once Carson was ruled out for Sunday's game with a hip injury, Penny was expected to start, but Carroll and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer chose to roll with the experienced Davis instead while keeping the rookie in a reserve role.
"Mike just played a terrific football game and was active, creative, tough, aggressive, and did a beautiful job." Carroll said. "Penny played well too in his nine carries, he did a nice job and got some space and ran hard. You can see him coming along."
Carson will return to action as the starter heading into this week's home game with the undefeated Rams, but there's no doubt Davis will see an enhanced role out of the backfield compared to earlier in the season and Penny will remain a situational back for now.
Fantasy owners will likely be infuriated by this latest development, but with the Seahawks finding traction running the football, Carroll could not care less and will gladly split carries between the three talented, complementary backs to help Seattle keep winning games.