The Green Bay Packers run game is about to get an awakening.
The Seattle Seahawks surprisingly cut Michael on Tuesday after the 26-year-old tailback started seven of nine games this season. There were rumblings after the release that the Seahawks staff couldn’t trust Michael to make the proper run reads. His carries waned, earning just five totes over the past two outings after averaging 16.4 carries the previous five games.
Pete Carroll insisted on Wednesday that the team parted ways simply because of the running backs on their roster, including the expected return of Thomas Rawls: “(The release) was really about the guys coming into the opportunity,” Carroll said, via SeattlePI.com’s Stephen Cohen.
Michael impressed this offseason and displayed huge burst through the hole early in the year, justifying the team’s belief that he had awoken from his early career struggles.
The 221-pound back will compete for time alongside James Starks, who returned from a knee injury last week and took the majority of snaps. The pass-heavy Packers are averaging 3.0 rushing yards before contact and only 1.6 rush yards after contact this season.
The Packers have shuffled through running backs with injuries to Starks and Eddie Lacy. Rookie Don Jackson sits as the little-used backup. Receiver Ty Montgomery saw heavy backfield snaps with Starks was out. The Packers also traded for Knile Davis, shared a cup of coffee, then cutting ties.
With Lacy on IR for the foreseeable future, Michael should get a chance to carve out a role in the coming weeks. Seahawks GM John Schneider worked under Packers GM Ted Thompson, so Green Bay should have a deep report on the ins-and-outs of Christine Michael. Additionally, Lacy was taken one pick before Michael at No. 61 in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Michael would face his former team when the Seahawks travel to Green Bay in Week 14 — if the running back sticks around that long.