Chris Carson

NFC Notes: Carson, Falcons, Barr, Rams

The Seahawks have struggled not just to replace offensive linemen from the Marshawn Lynch era but to replace Lynch himself. Last season, they went through several running backs but saw none emerge as a surefire answer. Five backs — Eddie Lacy, Mike Davis, Thomas Rawls, Chris Carson, J.D. McKissic — received more than 45 carries, but none surpassed 70 in a strange season. Now, the team is hoping one of these players in particular will be the leader in 2018. Carson’s been the clear No. 1 back throughout the offseason, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times expects him to be the starter in Week 1, should he stay healthy. Carson averaged 4.2 yards per carry prior to breaking his ankle early in the season. The Seahawks also added Rashaad Penny in the draft, but at this point, Carson is running ahead of the San Diego State alumnus few expected to be a first-round pick. Condotta also expects Prosise and McKissic to vie for the third-down back role, mentioning Prosise — should he stay healthy after an injury-prone career thus far — as a threat to factor into the starter conversation.

Here’s the latest from the NFC, pivoting to one of the Seahawks’ top rivals.

  • Although the Rams drafted three linebackers and have emerging backup Matt Longacre due back from injury, the team that devoted substantial offseason resources to restocking its defensive line and secondary doesn’t have much in the way of certainty on its second level. The Rams traded Robert Quinn and Alec Ogletree, shedding salary but creating lineup vacancies. The team is counting on Longacre, 2017 fourth-rounder Samson Ebukam and third-year UDFA Cory Littleton to be first-string presences, Joe Curley of USA Today notes. Los Angeles drafted edges Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and Trevon Young in the fifth and sixth rounds, respectively, and brought in ILB Micah Kiser with a fifth-round pick. However, Curley adds that ex-Chief inside ‘backer Ramik Wilson could be called upon as a possible starter as well in this still-muddled situation.
  • Desmond Trufant may have a new sidekick at some point this season. The Falcons used second-round pick Isaiah Oliver at right cornerback throughout the offseason, and D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution notes Dan Quinn would like to have a bigger presence at that position (Robert Alford is 5-foot-10; Oliver is 6-1). While predicting Oliver will begin his career as a special-teamer, Ledbetter writes that Alford would be an option as the Falcons’ slot corner if Oliver moves into the starting lineup. The Falcons extended Alford in 2016 and are set to pay him over $9MM in each of the next three seasons, though they can get out of that contract relatively easily after 2018.
  • Anthony Barr‘s effort level may be one of the factors involved in the Vikings‘ line of thinking regarding an extension for the fifth-year linebacker, Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. A Barr extension would probably require for him to either top or come quite close to exceeding Jamie Collins‘ OLB-high $12.5MM-AAV contract, and the Vikings already have a host of recently constructed extensions on their books. Barr’s been one of the best 4-3 outside ‘backers in the game for several years, but Mike Zimmer has questioned his effort in the past. The Vikings, who have already extended Eric Kendricks and Danielle Hunter this year, have begun re-up conversations with Barr.

Seahawks RB Chris Carson Suffers Setback

Seahawks running back Chris Carson‘s attempt at a 2017 comeback has been halted for the time being, as head coach Pete Carroll told reporters that Carson suffered a setback in his recovery from a broken leg, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.Chris Carson (vertical)

“(Carson) a little bit of an ankle turn. Just caught it a little bit,” said Carroll. “So just got to make sure we know what that means as he bounces back from it. We were looking to try to find a time when we could put him back on the practice field next week or the week after that.

We were looking with real optimism. But I don’t know if that’s going to happen after the little setback. We’ll have to see when we get though the weekend. We won’t know until like Wednesday or something of next week where that fits.”

As Carroll alluded to, Seattle was hopeful that Carson would be able to return from injured reserve at some point this year. In fact, Carroll said earlier this week that Carson had been “unbelievably ahead of schedule” in his rehab. While a return now appears doubtful, Carson could conceivably come back if/when the Seahawks earn a postseason berth. Carson has already been sidelined for more than eight weeks (the league minimum when placed on IR), so he can return to Seattle’s active roster at any time.

Carson, whom the Seahawks selected in the seventh round of the 2017 draft, had seized the club’s starting running back job before going down with injury. On 49 carries, the 23-year-old Carson had managed 4.2 yards per carry while also handling seven receptions. Even though he’s been absent for two months, Carson’s 208 yards rushing are still tops among Seattle running backs.

Without Carson available, the Seahawks have tried a number of options in the backfield with little success, as the club ranks just 22nd in rushing DVOA. The latest candidate for playing time is former fourth-rounder Mike Davis, whom Seattle claimed off waivers from San Francisco before the season began. Davis managed 64 yards on 16 carries in Week 13 against the Eagles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Giants, Cowboys, Seahawks

Inside the NFL, former Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman is perceived as the most likely candidate to take over the same job with the Giants, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. While that’s far from naming Gettleman as an official candidate for New York position, it’s a sign that the early link established between Gettleman and Big Blue wasn’t misconceived. Former Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi — whose New York career overlapped with Gettleman’s for a decade — is consulting the club on its GM hunt.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Filling in the for the suspended Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys running back Alfred Morris could now see an increased market next spring thanks to his production through four games as a starter, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com writes. Morris has certainly impressed — as Archer notes, Morris 307 yards in four contests would put him on pace for a 1,200+ yard campaign. However, Morris turns 29 years old next week, which will theoretically limit his market. A reunion between Morris and Dallas could make sense, opines Archer, as the Cowboys would be wise to protect themselves against another Elliott off-field incident/ban.
  • Before hiring Herm Edwards as their new head coach, Arizona State reached out to Ravens senior offensive assistant/tight ends coach Greg Roman, tweets Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. Roman, who has previously served as an offensive coordinator for both the 49ers and Bills, doesn’t have any collegiate coaching experience and has no known ties to the Arizona area, but given that Edwards was their final choice, the Sun Devils clearly didn’t weight either of those factors heavily. Baltimore currently ranks 26th in offensive DVOA, but that’s certainly not an indictment on Roman, who has crafted excellent offensive schemes in his past stops.
  • If Pete Carroll‘s eternal optimism is to be believed, the Seahawks could soon witness the return of two key contributors, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. Defensive back DeShawn Shead — currently on the physically unable to perform list — is “really close” to practicing, per Carroll, and may even participate this week. Meanwhile, running back Chris Carson is “unbelievably ahead of schedule” as he returns from a broken leg, Carroll tells Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link), and he could also come back to practice in the next several weeks.
  • Shead’s return could help a secondary that’s already lost cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Kam Chancellor for the remainder of the season. Chancellor, though, hasn’t officially been placed on injured reserve yet, and that’s because of the Seahawks‘ dire salary cap situation, tweets Condotta. Seattle has only ~$165K in cap space, per Over the Cap, meaning it doesn’t have the money to pay a player who’d replace Chancellor on the 53-man roster. It’s almost inconceivable that the Seahawks will use a 52-man roster for the rest of the year, so the club will likely attempt to restructure a contract to create more space.

NFC Notes: Lions, Stafford, Eagles, Seahawks, Bears

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford suffered a hamstring injury and a sprained ankle in Detroit’s 27-24 loss to Carolina, a source tells ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano. Stafford’s status is currently up in the air and his week of practice will determine whether he plays Sunday against New Orleans. The good news is that if Stafford does miss time, it sounds like it won’t be a lengthy absence.

Here’s a look at the NFC:

  • Eagles coach Doug Pederson admitted to reporters that it’s going to be tough to get lineman Lane Johnson through the league’s concussion protocol in time for Thursday night’s game (Twitter link via Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com).
  • Seahawks running back Chris Carson lost a good chunk of money thanks to his injury and the split in his contract, as Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (on Twitter) points out. His weekly salary is now based off $348K while on IR rather than $465K.
  • Bears linebacker John Timu, who was carted off the field on Sunday with a scary-looking injury, only suffered a high-ankle sprain (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). He’ll be out 2-4 weeks, which is a much better prognosis than many expected at first.

Seahawks Place RB Chris Carson On IR

The Seahawks have officially placed Chris Carson on injured reserve. The move was expected after the running back suffered a broken leg in Sunday’s game. "<strong

Carson was carter off the field in the fourth quarter and had an air cast applied to his left leg, an indication that the injury was serious. In theory, Carson will be eligible to return from IR after eight weeks on the sidelines, but his timetable for recovery is not yet clear. While he’s out, it’s expected that Thomas Rawls will be Seattle’s lead running back with Eddie Lacy, C.J. Prosise, and J.D. McKissic in support.

Carson seized the starting gig two games into his the season, leapfrogging both Rawls and Lacy. Prior to the injury, he was averaging a solid 4.2 yards per carry.

In other Seahawks news, left tackle Rees Odhiambo has been hospitalized with a bruised heart.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chris Carson Suffers Significant Ankle Injury

Late in the Seahawks’ runaway win on Sunday night, the team lost its newly promoted starting running back. Chris Carson was carted off the field, and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (on Twitter) the rookie suffered a broken ankle.

Pete Carroll called it a “significant” injury (via Rapoport, on Twitter), and the seventh-round pick seems destined for IR if this diagnosis is confirmed. Carson will undergo an MRI today.

Carroll elaborated soon after, saying Carson has a fracture just below his leg and likely a high ankle sprain, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets. The eighth-year Seahawks HC simply said (via Condotta, on Twitter), “He’s going to be out.”

Carson seized the starting job two games into his rookie season, supplanting Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy, and was averaging 4.2 yards per carry. The Oklahoma State product’s absence will force Rawls — a healthy scratch Sunday night — and Lacy to pick up the slack. However, the Seahawks have some options here for what will likely become a committee-type arrangement.

C.J. Prosise missed Sunday’s game, but former waiver claim J.D. McKissic — a second-year player out of Arkansas State — scored twice. Both figure to play a part of the post-Carson equation in Seattle, should the promising runner indeed see his season cut short.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Sign 8 UDFAs

The Seahawks have always placed an emphasis on signing undrafted free agents that can make a difference and they hope they have unearthed a few gems in this year’s class. Today, the Seahawks announced the signing of eight UDFAs, along with deals for four of their draft picks. Here’s the full rundown:

UDFAs:

Draft signings:

Roos will receive a larger-than-usual $20K package for signing with Seattle, as Tom Pelissero of USA Today tweets. Roos, a 6’4″, 302 pound guard out of Purdue, was a four-year starter for the Boilermakers. Even though he was not invited to the NFL combine, the Seahawks kept an eye on him and quickly scooped him up after the draft.

As detailed by Matthew Martinez of the Star Telegram, Howard took an unorthodox route to the NFL. Coming out of high school in Texas, Howard didn’t garner any college consideration. After establishing himself at a JUCO college in California, Howard found his way to West Virginia where he finally got attention on a national level.

I knew I was going to play in college, whether I had offers or not,” Howard said. “I knew it was going to happen, I just didn’t know the winding road would take me to West Virginia and I’d come full circle to train for the draft in my own backyard.”