Chris Carson’s career will be ended by a neck injury that derailed his 2021 season with the Seattle Seahawks.
According to a source close to the situation, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that Carson has decided to retire due to the injury.
Rapoport added that the decision was made after the running back failed his physical. Carson was released by the Seahawks with a failed physical designation later Tuesday, allowing him to receive injury protection benefits.
“I’ve loved Chris’s style since the first time I saw him on film, and I was thrilled when we were able to get him when we did,” head coach Pete Carroll said in a statement Tuesday. “It was exciting to watch him grow and become such an important part of our programme, with such a great style. We will miss him and all he contributed to our programme.”
Last season, the 27-year-old appeared in just four games before being sidelined by an injury.
Carson was optimistic in June that he’d be able to return at some point this season.
“Oh, we’re still going,” Carson said at the time. “I see myself playing until I want to stop. My mentality is to never give up. So, like I said, I’m staying positive and fighting to get back on the field.”
Carson will not be able to return to the field due to the neck injury. Given the physical nature of football and the severity of the injury, he becomes the latest player to have his career cut short by a neck injury.
“It’s a huge letdown,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider said. “We took as much time as we could with him, he saw a number of specialists, but he couldn’t pass our physical.”
Carson was one of the NFL’s most underrated, hard-nosed backs in five seasons with the Seahawks after being selected in the seventh round of the 2017 draught out of Oklahoma State. He ran with purpose, possessing the speed to get the edge as well as the ability to drag tacklers for extra yards on every run.
Carson finishes his career with 3,502 yards on 796 carries and 24 touchdowns, including 1,100-yard rushing seasons in 2018 and 2019.
With Carson no longer on the field, the Seahawks will rely on Rashaad Penny and rookie running back Kenneth Walker III. The selection of Walker in the second round by Seattle highlighted Carson’s uncertain future. Walker and Penny will compete for reps in Pete Carroll’s ground-first offence now that the veteran is retiring.
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