Marshawn Lynch began his Thursday night on the sideline but ended it in the stands. The Raiers running back was ejected from Oakland’s 31-30 win over Kansas City, this after running onto the field during a skirmish and making contact with an official.
Unfortunately for Lynch, the ejection could be the least of his troubles.
“He’s going to be fined significantly for making contact with an official and failing to get off the field and for entering the field of play in a situation like that were he wasn’t one of 22 guys otherwise already on there with their helmets on taking part in the play – and there’s also grounds for potential suspension,” CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he got suspended because it’s sort of egregious on multiple levels. Whatever his intent was, there’s certain things you just don’t do. If you leave the sideline and enter the fray like that in a wild manner, you’re going to get noticed. You then make contact with the official. If that’s not enough to stop you and then you keep going, then you’ve now taken it to another level. He obviously was ejected from that game. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he had to sit for a week.”
Regardless of whether he’s suspended – or for how long – Lynch’s role is getting smaller by the week. He had two carries for nine yards Thursday. Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, both 24, combined for 18 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown. They also combined for seven catches for 52 yards, with Richard doing the bulk of the receiving damage.
“I think from a football standpoint, there was already a changing of the guard going on there,” La Canfora said. “You saw what the other two backs did. They were more explosive, the line didn’t have to hold blocks as long for them, those guys are kind of slithering through, and Marshawn, let’s face it: If Marshawn is Beast Mode, you put up with a lot of this. You ride with him no matter what. But he’s getting 150 yards a month now – not 150 yards a game. That’s literally the reality.”
Lynch has rushed 72 times for 266 yards (3.7 yards per carry) and two touchdowns this season. At 31, he is no longer an every-down back. In fact, he is probably best-suited as a short-yardage and goal-line specialist.
“Not that there’s not a role for him,” La Canfora said, “but anybody who came in thinking that those first couple carries we saw against Tennessee was going to be the tale of his season, it certainly hasn’t been the case. He looks like the age and the time off is showing, and they’ve got some other backs there who they intrigued by.”
The Raiders, who snapped a four-game losing streak, play each of their next two games on the road: at Buffalo (3-2) and at Miami (3-2).
Elsewhere in the AFC, La Canfora believes the Colts (2-4) will be without Andrew Luck (shoulder) until at least Thanksgiving.
“It’s a process, and just look at the schedule,” La Canfora said, referencing Indy’s Week 11 bye. “The soonest I think you see him active for a game would be Nov. 26, but it’s much more likely that it’s in December.”