The month of July is always a nervous one for NFL teams, basically counting down the days until training camp opens and praying to not see one of their players make the news for an arrest or other character incident. The Seattle Seahawks had their fears realized this weekend when starting running back Marshawn Lynch was arrested for suspicion of DUI, according to Daniel Jiminez of the Bay Area News Group.
Lynch's list of arrests and incidents is too long to list here, and it resulted in a four-game suspension in 2009 that was later reduced to three by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The next step in the progression of Lynch's suspensions would increase his absence to six or even eight games. However, it is unknown whether he'll get leeway because it has been over three years since his last arrest.
Lynch will probably be considered a repeat offender under the personal conduct policy even though it is his first DUI arrest. Even if the charges are dropped, Goodell has been known to suspend players for a pattern of behavior even when there are no arrests. It is hard to envision Lynch not missing time this year as a result of this incident.
This puts fourth-round pick Robert Turbin in the starting lineup, unless the Seahawks decide to sign a veteran free agent like Ryan Grant or Cedric Benson. Turbin is in the Lynch mold, a powerful back with underrated speed and good hands out of the backfield.
The Seahawks would also mix in a liberal dose of Leon Washington, and they have Kregg Lumpkin and Tyrell Sutton for depth and versatility. My guess is that Seattle is satisfied with the backs they have on the roster behind Lynch, but look for the rookie Turbin to get more work earlier than anyone expected, regardless of their personnel moves later this summer.