As the Seattle Seahawks complete their first week of training camp, the focus remains on a player who is not there: running back Marshawn Lynch.
The team's leading rusher the last three seasons remains out of camp while holding out for a new contract.
The team, meanwhile, has continued its stance that it does not want to set a precedent of re-doing current deals it signed with players -- Lynch agreed to a four-year, $31 million contract in 2012 -- and that it also doesn't want to deviate from its long-term financial plan.
So the stalemate continues with it being anyone's guess when an end might come.
Lynch is subject to almost $500,000 in fines already, though those are at the team's discretion and would likely be reduced or waived if he reports soon.
Coach Pete Carroll has mostly tried to avoid comment on Lynch but said this week that "I love this kid and I hope he will figure it out and it will all make sense and it will come to a resolution somewhere.''
Conventional wisdom around the team is that Lynch will return at some point. For now, though, he remains on the reserve/did not report list, and the team is using Christine Michael and Robert Turbin as its tailbacks with the No. 1 offense.
Seattle also suffered two other potentially costly injuries that each could affect its depth as tight end Anthony McCoy went down on Tuesday with an Achilles injury, and defensive tackle Jesse Williams went out on Wednesday with a knee injury.
The exact prognosis for both are still unclear, but the initial outlook looked bleak, especially for McCoy who also missed last season with an injury to his other Achilles.
Neither was considered a contender to start, but each loomed as potentially a member of the rotation at their positions.
Seattle also continued to be without some key players who are coming off offseason surgeries, notably left tackle Russell Okung, linebacker and Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith, linebacker Bruce Irvin and safety Kam Chancellor.
All are expected back in the next week or two, however.
--One potential question -- who takes over for Walter Thurmond as the team's nickel back -- appears to have been answered. Jeremy Lane entered camp as the heir apparent and has solidified his hold on the job with his play the first week of camp. Expect Lane to team with Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell in the nickel, with Tharold Simon appearing to have a hold on a backup spot as an outside corner.
--Rookie wide receiver Paul Richardson has been a consistent standout, when he's been on the field. The Seahawks are trying to manage his workload a little after he had some shoulder issues in the spring. But he's been out there enough to show that he should give the team the big-play deep threat the Seahawks desired when they took him in the second round.
BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Seattle's search for a new starting right tackle to replace the departed Breno Giacomini got only more intriguing this week when the team signed veteran free agent Eric Winston, who started all 16 games at that spot last year for Arizona. Second-year player Michael Bowie is battling rookie Justin Britt for that spot, as well. But Bowie has been bothered of late by a shoulder injury and Britt is untested and the Seahawks want to see what the experienced Winston may be able to provide. Winston has 119 starts in his career.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I feel good about it. I think he will be fine. Whichever decision he makes I will be fine with it. I think he is putting his work in and if he comes back ready to play and raring to go, that's what it will be and he will be in shape and take his 300-350 carries that he always takes and he our workhorse. And if this is not his time, then you know the other guys will step up and we will go out there and play.'' -- Cornerback Richard Sherman on how he feels about the holdout of Marshawn Lynch.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
--LG James Carpenter again impressed early in camp with his improved shape and stamina and has secured the starting spot. Carpenter was the team's first pick in 2011 and while he has started 26 games, he has been viewed as not quite living up to his draft standing due in part to issues with his weight and knees. But his knees are healthy now and the weight has come down.
--RG J.R. Sweezy has added about 15 pounds to get to 310 and likewise has solidified his hold on the starting job at his position. Sweezy is in his third year out of North Carolina State, where he played on the defensive line before being moved to offense by the Seahawks.
--LB K.J. Wright is in the last year of his contract but said this week he has had no talks with the Seahawks about a new deal or an extension. He said he hopes to stay in Seattle but understands that players also sometimes have to move around.