RENTON Marshawn Lynch Color Rush Jersey , Wash. (AP) — Seahawks offense functions best when running back Chris Carson is getting the bulk of the carries.Yet it’s also becoming clear that Carson may be a spectator on Sunday when the Seahawks face the Los Angeles Rams as he deals with a hip injury that could keep him sidelined for the second time this season.Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday that Carson would not practice and his status for Sunday’s NFC West matchup was uncertain. Carson started last Sunday’s 25-17 loss to the Chargers and averaged 5.0 yards per carry, but did not play the final 2½ quarters after a lingering hip issue flared up.While there is a chance Carson could be ready by Sunday, the Seahawks (4-4) also turn around and play a Thursday night game against Green Bay next week. And playing Carson on Sunday may make him unavailable against the Packers, which could end up being a more important game for Seattle’s playoff hopes.“The soft tissue thing is kind of hanging with him a little bit,” Carroll said of Carson. “This hip thing is still kind of there and we’ve got to wait and see how it comes out at the end of the week.”Carson has shown he’s the best option as Seattle’s primary running back when he is healthy. In the four games Carson has carried the ball at least 14 times this season, he’s averaging 4.2 yards per carry, 95.5 yards per game and the Seahawks are 3-1 in those four games.In the three games where Carson has carried the ball fewer than 14 times either because of injury or game plan, the Seahawks are winless.If Carson can’t play against the Rams, Mike Davis would likely get the bulk of the work at running back with a bigger role for rookie first-round pick Rashaad Penny as well.“We’ve got plenty of guys we can go to,” Carroll said. “We don’t have to just rely on one guy right now.”Davis has shown an ability to be the primary ball carrier for the Seahawks, running for 101 yards on 21 carries in Seattle’s Week 4 victory over Arizona when Carson was out because of an unrelated groin injury. Davis had 62 yards on 15 carries last week carrying the bulk of the running after Carson was unable to continue.“It’s like I do every week, prepare that I’m going to be the starter so if it does come up I don’t get blindsided,” Davis said.Davis has proven he can handle the load. The same can’t be said of Penny, who has just 42 carries for 146 yards through eight games. In the first couple of weeks Germain Ifedi Color Rush Jersey , Seattle made it a priority to force Penny into the game and get him some action. After they realized that wasn’t working, Penny disappeared for a couple of weeks before slowly being reintegrated to the offense.Last week Penny had just four carries, but may see that number increase significantly if Carson can’t play.“We’ve just got to get him out there. He just needs more turns,” Carroll said of Penny. “Mike has been very versatile in the throwing game and all the styles of runs, really good at it and very effective. We’re just going with what looks right. It has nothing to do with where you got picked or where you came from for the opportunities to present itself for the guys to show what they can do.”Whoever is carrying the ball, the Seahawks will want to replicate the success they had from the first meeting with the Rams. Seattle rushed for a season-high 190 yards in the 33-31 loss, the most allowed by Los Angeles this season. But Carson was a big part of that success, running for 116 yards.Davis expects the Rams to make changes, but also believes in his offensive line.“We know what our guys can do up front and they’re killing it. I have no doubt,” Davis said.NOTES: G D.J. Fluker didn’t finish last week’s game with a calf injury and sat out practice on Wednesday. Carroll said Fluker was a little more sore on Wednesday than he was earlier in the week. … S Bradley McDougald also didn’t practice with a knee injury that kept him out the second half against the Chargers. Delano Hill would start if McDougald can’t play. The Seattle Seahawks haven’t clinched a playoff spot yet, but they’re 99% of the way there and just need to beat the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday to secure their place in the postseason. In the Russell Wilson era, the Seahawks have never had “nothing to play for” late in the regular season. Just look at previous Week 17s:2012 - Needed a win and a 49ers loss to win the NFC West. 2013 - Needed a win or a 49ers loss to clinch the NFC West and the #1 seed.2014 - Needed a win or a Cardinals loss to clinch the NFC West and the #1 seed.2015 - Needed a win to have a chance at the #5 seed, ultimately finished as the #6 seed.2016 - Needed a win and a Falcons loss to earn the #2 seed. Once this was out of reach, Trevone Boykin played the final few minutes of Seattle’s win against the 49ers.2017 - Needed a win and a Falcons loss to get into the playoffs.It’s a bit different in 2018. The Los Angeles Rams have already won the NFC West Patrick Kerney Color Rush Jersey , so should the Seahawks make the playoffs as expected, the only thing to tidy up would be whether or not they’d be the #5 or #6 seed.Seattle is currently 1.5 games up on the Minnesota Vikings, and two games clear of everyone else in the wild card race. They can clinch the #5 seed as early as Week 15 if the following happens:Seahawks win AND:Vikings tie or lose to DolphinsThat’s it.The Panthers are 6-7 but don’t have the tiebreaker on the Seahawks, so they do not matter in this story. Washington and Philadelphia play each other in Week 17 so they both can’t finish 9-7, and even so neither one of them has a tiebreaker over the Seahawks. The Vikings can still finish above if they win out and the Seahawks finish 9-7.This means that there is a non-zero chance the Chiefs vs. Seahawks game in Week 16 is meaningless to both sides, with Kansas City potentially having clinched the #1 seed in the AFC and Seattle the #5 seed in the NFC.As much as Pete likes to “Always Compete,” I’d have to think he’d be willing to not play Russell Wilson and others for full games if they know their fate this early. Yeah, it wouldn’t make for good primetime TV to see Chad Henne vs. Brett Hundley, but Andy Reid is historically very willing to not play his starters when he’s got his seeding locked up.Of course, we can’t get too carried away. The Seahawks have to do their part this Sunday, but it’s crazy that we’re talking about the Seahawks having the opportunity to rest starters with two weeks to spare when they were 4-5 this time last month.