A year since playing in his last NFL game, Paxton Lynch was back on a football field on Thursday night, playing with his new team, the Seattle Seahawks, against his old team, the Denver Broncos.
It’s a small sample size, but it seems Lynch impressed.
Leads second-half comeback
The 26th pick in the 2016 draft, Lynch spent last year out of the NFL after the Broncos released him on Sept. 2.
He signed with the Seahawks in January, ostensibly to compete with Geno Smith to be Russell Wilson’s backup.
On Thursday, Smith started against Denver despite playing with a knee injury, which may be an indicator that there is real competition between him and Lynch.
Smith played the first half, and the Seahawks were down 6-3 at the break.
Lynch came on in the third quarter and led a comeback, with Seattle winning 22-14.
‘Lynch did a really good job’
Lynch led Seattle to two touchdowns and a field goal, completing 11-of-15 passes for 109 yards, plus 38 rushing yards on four carries.
He was directly involved in both touchdowns, first on a 6-yard pass to rookie Jazz Ferguson, and the other on a 9-yard run.
“I thought Paxton Lynch did a really good job,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “Paxton handled himself well, good tempo with the game. And he ran the ball really well; he’s a big unit running now. You saw him down by the goal line, that’s a fantastic run for a quarterback to score down there. But just in general he got out and made some yardage with his legs.”
Lynch downplays revenge angle
Because Lynch’s first game back in an NFL uniform was against the team that drafted him in the first round only to cut him two and a half years later, it was easy for others to dub it a revenge game for the 25-year-old.
But he downplayed that notion.
“I know that there was some talk that it was about that, but I love those guys,” Lynch said of Denver. “I have a lot of love for a lot of guys on that team, they mean a lot to me. I respect them and love them, they’re close friends to me, so it had nothing to do with that. It was more to me, I had a lot to prove to myself tonight, and I feel like I went out there and did that.”
He said he was just excited to be back playing again.
“I just wanted to show myself that all the hard work I’d put in had paid off. I had a long offseason, basically. While everyone else was playing, I was at home, I wasn’t playing, I was watching on TV,” Lynch said. “I know I was working hard, I was building myself up, believing in myself and trying get back to where I was and trying to figure out how I could do that. I was excited when Seattle gave me the opportunity to come here, and I’m glad they gave me the opportunity to go out there and do what I did tonight.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Friday morning that Smith would be undergoing a procedure to have a cyst removed from his knee, and would be out for seven to 10 days, which will likely provide Lynch with an opening to get more reps.
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