The question came in mid-August, two days after the Seahawks’ first preseason game, and I was 90 percent joking when I asked it.

Thomas Rawls had just spent three minutes praising the evolution of Christine Michael, who was fresh off a seven-carry, 44-yard performance vs. the Chiefs.

Rawls noted how Michael had developed into a “one-cut” back who had become as decisive as he was explosive — and his improvement was evident throughout training camp. So I threw it out there.

Is any part of you worried that he’s coming for you?

Rawls smiled.

“You have to understand that when you come here, everybody wants to be the guy at the top,” he said.

Well, here we are a month and a half later, and Michael is the guy at the top. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that a fibula injury will sideline Rawls for at least a few weeks.

But even if Rawls were healthy, C-Mike has earned the opportunity to be the Seahawks’ go-to running back. Through three games in 2016, Michael has proven himself as a worthy NFL starting running back.