'I'm Ready!' Rookie Kenneth Walker Takes Over as Seahawks Move Rashaad Penny to IR – Sports Illustrated

The Seattle Seahawks are officially passing the torch at running back … but that doesn't mean Rashaad Penny won't eventually return to attempt to re-grab it.
“It’s really a heartbreaker for a kid who has really bounced back into the limelight of our program,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said on The Brock and Salk Show of the roster move that now has Penny on IR after the 26-year-old back suffered a fractured fibula in Week 5 against the New Orleans Saints. “He’s been through such a long haul, it’s really just a heartbreaking loss for him.''
Penny surgery and rehab now represents another "long haul,'' and one that Carroll anticipates will go well.
“He’ll come back, he’ll be able to play again and all of that,” Carroll said. “It’s a really clear surgery process and all of that, but it just does take a long time.”
The Seahawks, fortunately, have an answer.
“I’m ready,” rookie Kenneth Walker III said. “Been practicing every day. I feel real comfortable with the offense. I feel real comfortable in the scheme.”
Seattle picked Michigan State running back Walker in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. And while Penny was averaging 6.1 yards per carry in 2022 before his injury, Walker jumped in against the Saints after Penny left with his injury and rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown on just eight carries.
In his final season at Michigan State, Walker ran for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns, and the Seahawks believe that production will translate. Walker's first test as the full-time back comes Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
Said Carroll: "He’s not going to have any time to keep patiently waiting. He’s going, so this is a really great opportunity for him to jump to the front, see what he can do with it, and we’re counting on him to do stuff in a big way.”
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