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Seahawks rookie RB Rashaad Penny out 3-4 weeks with broken finger

Rashaad Penny, Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks rookie running back Rashaad Penny will undergo surgery on Wednesday to repair a broken finger, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Penny suffered the injury during Monday’s practice and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks. That timetable puts his availability for the team’s regular-season opener against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 9 in doubt.

Penny was the No. 27 overall pick in this year’s draft and second running back taken after Saquon Barkley. He was competing with Chris Carson for the Seahawks’ starting RB job this season. Pete Carroll had high hopes for Penny, whom he believed could also make an impact in the receiving game.

But the Seahawks drafted Penny — college football’s leading rusher last year with 2,248 yards — primarily to help reignite their ground game, which has stalled since the departure of Marshawn Lynch.

Seattle received dismal production from their running backs last season. Their top rusher was quarterback Russell Wilson, who had over twice as many rushing yards (586) as their best running back, Mike Davis (240). Wilson also picked up three of their four rushing touchdowns.

Penny played in the team’s preseason opener against the Colts last week and finished with 16 yards on eight carries. His absence in their upcoming preseason contests will now open the door for the likes of Davis, C.J. Prosise, and J.D. McKissic to earn more touches — and a larger role — in the backfield heading into this season.