Chris Carson

Seahawks RB Chris Carson Retires

Earlier this offseason, it came out that Chris Carson‘s playing days may very well be over. Today, that fear has been confirmed, as Carson is retiring from the NFL at the age of 27 (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport). 

Carson was limited to just four games this season as a result of a neck injury. It was the latest in a long list of issues preventing him from playing a full season in any of his five NFL seasons, all spent in Seattle. In June, head coach Pete Carroll indicated that the injury severely threated Carson’s ability to play again.

As Rapoport notes, the Seahawks are officially releasing Carson (who has one non-void year remaining on his contract) with a failed physical designation. Doing so will allow him to receive injury protection benefits, just as they have done previously with the likes of Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor. While that news will certainly help Carson financially, today is nevertheless the unfortunate end of his NFL career.

The five-year veteran, who signed a two-year deal worth $10.4MM in March 2021, will still collect $2MM from the Seahawks via injury protection, Joel Corry of CBS Sports tweets. The Seahawks will be hit with $1.2MM of that cost on their 2022 salary cap.

Then, earlier this month, Carson expressed his intentions of working to get back on the field in spite of the long odds. “I see myself playing until I feel like stopping,” he said“My mindset is never to give up, so I’m staying positive like I said, and [will] continue to fight and get back onto the field.”

The former seventh-round pick took on the No. 1 role in his second season, and held onto it until the neck injury. He topped 1,100 rushing yards in 2018 and 2019, providing the offense with a consistent, quality presence. Overall, he amassed 4,306 scrimmage yards and 31 total touchdowns in 49 career games.

Seattle added youth at the position in recent years, drafting Travis Homer and DeeJay DallasMost recently, they added Kenneth Walker this past April, further signaling that Carson’s days may have been numbered. That trio, along with Rashaad Penny, will look to fill the void left by Carson’s absence.

Release Candidate: Seahawks RB Chris Carson

About a month ago, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll seemed ready to envision a future for Seattle’s running backs room that didn’t include Chris Carson, hinting that the 27-year-old’s career in the NFL could be coming to an end following a neck injury that sidelined him for the majority of the 2021 NFL season. Days later, Carson made it clear that he had no intentions of hanging up his cleats. 

Oh, we still going right now,” Carson said, via’s Jonathan Adams. “I see myself playing until I feel like stopping. My mindset is never to give up, so I’m staying positive like I said, and [will] continue to fight and get back onto the field.”

After a broken ankle kept Carson from being a full-time starter in his rookie season, Carson bounced back, leading the team in rushing yards for the next three years. His consistency, paired with the injury history of backup running back Rashaad Penny, landed Carson a two-year deal to stay in Seattle during last year’s offseason. Four weeks into the season, though, Carson suffered a neck injury that would require surgery, prematurely ending his season and leading to the comments mentioned above from Carroll and Carson.

While there doesn’t seem to be any bad blood between the two parties, the moves Seattle has made recently make it seem as if Carroll has no intention of handing the ball off to Carson ever again. The most recent move was spending a second-round pick on Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III. Walker was a bell-cow back for the Spartans last year carrying the ball 263 times for 1,636 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. The next closest running back on the team had 70 rushing attempts for 278 yards. Walker’s ability to carry an offense is extremely attractive to a team that wants to thrive on the ground but hasn’t had the health to do so.

The former first-round pick, Penny, ended last season on fire rushing for 632 yards and six touchdowns over four of the last five games of the season. While Penny has certainly had his own issues staying healthy, he was drafted with the intention that he could eventually be the team’s franchise running back. If Penny starts next season anywhere near how he ended 2021, a recovering Carson is going to have a tough time seeing the field.

Behind Penny and Walker, the Seahawks also roster two former Miami Hurricanes in Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas. While neither has added much value to the running game over the past few years, both hold tremendous value on special teams that seems to solidify their roster status year in and year out. Other running backs on the roster are Darwin Thompson and Josh Johnson, who will likely end up on the practice squad or may be camp cuts.

With Penny, Walker, Homer, and Dallas all in line to make the 53-man roster, it starts to become difficult to justify a fifth roster spot for a running back who would only split carries with Penny and Walker. Combining that roster logjam with Carroll’s sentiments about Carson’s career potentially being over, it makes sense to start looking into the idea of offloading Carson’s contract.

The team could work with Carson to look for an ideal trade destination in an effort to return some value from the departure. If not, though, the Seahawks still would stand to benefit in cap savings. Cutting Carson would only leave Seattle with $1MM in dead cap while creating $4.6MM in cap space. Carson’s career may not be over, but there’s a real possibility that his time in Seattle may soon come to an end.

Chris Carson Not Planning To Retire

Neck injuries have cost longtime Seahawks starters their careers in recent years. Both Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril did not come back after seeing their 2017 seasons end because of neck trouble. Five years later, Chris Carson‘s career is in jeopardy because of a neck ailment sustained early last season.

Pete Carroll confirmed this week the sixth-year veteran running back is not certain to return to the field. Since Carson was forced out of action four games into the 2021 season, not much in the way of good news has emerged from this situation. But Carson, 27, is not ready to call it a career.

Oh, we still going right now,” Carson said, via’s Jonathan Adams. “I see myself playing until I feel like stopping. My mindset is never to give up, so I’m staying positive like I said, and [will] continue to fight and get back onto the field.

… Not trying to rush it; I’m just trying to take it one day at a time. Just keep rehabbing, keep getting better. Keep building strength and then go from there. But like I said, there’s no timeline for me.”

A 2017 seventh-round pick, Carson has done well for himself as a pro. The Oklahoma State product has two 1,100-yard rushing seasons and, when healthy, held off former first-round pick Rashaad Penny for Seattle’s first-string running back gig. Carson worked as the top ball-carrying option for three straight playoff teams, leading to a new contract.

Partially due to Penny’s extensive injury history, the Seahawks gave Carson a two-year, $10.4MM deal in 2021. Carson, who has already recovered from a broken leg in his pro career, received $5.5MM guaranteed on his current deal. He is set to earn a $4.5MM base salary this season.

The Seahawks insured their backfield by drafting Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III in Round 2, making that pick after re-signing Penny to a one-year, $5.75MM contract. These two stand to be Seattle’s top backs this season. Carson looms as a wild card for the team’s offense, which will likely continue to be one of the league’s most run-oriented attacks. Training camp serves as the next key point on the resilient runner’s NFL timeline.

Pete Carroll Hints At Career-Ending Injury For Chris Carson

Running back Chris Carson knows a bit about adversity in football. From community college to being a late-round pick to early competition and injuries, Carson overcame quite a bit to become a starting NFL running back. According to Adam Jude of The Seattle Times, Carson may not be done dealing with adversity. Jude reports that, in comments this week, head coach Pete Carroll seemed to hint that Carson may be looking at the end of his career, following a neck injury that sidelined him for the majority of the 2021 season. 

Carson transferred to Oklahoma State after two seasons at Butler Community College and, after two so-so seasons of college football, Carson was five picks away from going undrafted in 2017. Even after getting selected by Seattle near the end of the final round of the draft, Carson was set to compete with veterans Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy for playing time. Carson won the starting job before having his rookie season cut short by a broken ankle.

A quick recovery helped Carson return to become the Seahawks’ leading rusher for the next three years, despite only playing 12 games in 2020. In the offseason before the 2021 season, Carson re-signed with Seattle on a two-year deal. In Week 4 of the season, though, Carson suffered a neck injury that would require surgery and end his season. The updates on Carson’s status have been few and far between in the last eight months. Carroll’s comments, this past Thursday, gave us one of the first looks into Carson’s status, albeit an ominous one.

“Our guys love this game that they grow up playing, and when they sense that there may be an end to it, it’s hard. It’s difficult, and it’s real,” Carroll said. “And we’re going to love (Carson) through it and help him as much as possible, if that’s the case, like we do with everybody when it comes to the end of it. It’s inevitable. It’s coming, but it’s always too soon, so we’re trying to fight that off.”

With Carson sidelined indefinitely, Rashaad Penny sits atop the depth chart. Penny has his own history with injuries, failing to play in more than 10 games in a season since his rookie year and only appearing in 37 of a possible 65 career games. Penny did have the best season of his career last year, rushing for 749 yards and six touchdowns, despite only starting six games.

Seattle has a bit of depth behind Carson and Penny. Since drafting Carson in 2018, the Seahawks have drafted a running back every year except for 2021. This past draft, the Seahawks drafted Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III in the second round. In the years before 2021, Seattle drafted Miami Hurricanes running backs Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas in back-to-back drafts.

Carson is reportedly scheduled to meet with his doctors and surgeon in the coming weeks. The meetings should provide a clearer picture of Carson’s potential for a return.

“He’s battling. He’s doing everything he can,” Carroll told reporters. “He wants to compete all the way to the last word. And so he’s going for it.”

Seahawks Uncertain On RB Chris Carson’s Availability

Barely a year ago, Chris Carson re-signed with the Seahawks. That deal and Rashaad Penny beginning another season sidelined kept Carson locked into his starting role in Seattle’s backfield.

Carson’s early-season injury changed the team’s plans. The neck issue the longtime Seattle starter encountered in October lingered for weeks and eventually prompted the five-year veteran to undergo surgery. The Seahawks have since re-signed Penny, after he delivered the best stretch of his career to finish last season, and drafted Kenneth Walker in the second round. Carson’s contract runs through 2022, but the Seahawks are not yet sure when he will be ready to return.

We don’t have updates yet on Chris and we won’t know for some time, so there’s a little bit of uncertainty that we’re waiting on,” Pete Carroll said recently, via’s Brady Henderson.

Usually optimistic on his injured players, Carroll providing this assessment is a cause for concern. The Seahawks have seen multiple key contributors — Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril — suffer career-ending neck injuries in recent years. It is not certain that is where Carson is headed, but the team using a No. 41 overall pick on a running back points to a new-look backfield. Carson and Penny’s injury histories point to Walker having a shot to contribute early.

Carson, who had bounced back from a broken leg to be the Seahawks’ starter from 2018-20 and to begin last season, missed 13 games last year because of his neck problem. The two-time 1,000-yard rusher collected $5.5MM fully guaranteed as part of his two-year, $10.4MM deal. He is due a $4.5MM base salary this season.

Seahawks’ Chris Carson To Undergo Season-Ending Surgery

Chris Carson‘s setback in his return from IR will end up sidelining him for the rest of the season. The Seahawks’ starting running back will undergo season-ending surgery, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

The Seahawks have been without Carson since Week 4 due to a neck injury but saw him return to practice last week. However, Pete Carroll expressed uncertainty about Carson’s timetable. Carson will revert to IR, with Carroll confirming Friday surgery is on tap.

The team had until the end of the month to activate Carson, and Carroll initially expressed optimism the fifth-year back was on track to return. But Carson did not practice this week and will instead aim to recover in time for the 2022 season. Carson, who began his fourth season as Seattle’s backfield starter, totaled 232 rushing yards and three touchdowns this season.

In March, the Seahawks kept Carson in the fold via a two-year, $10.4MM accord. Although the former seventh-round pick has two 1,100-yard seasons on his resume — 2018 and ’19 — injuries have piled up. The Oklahoma State product suffered a broken leg as a rookie, missed the end of the 2019 season because of a hip injury and was sidelined for four games last season due to a foot sprain. This neck issue has brought another bad break for the Day 3 success story.

Seattle has mainly used Alex Collins as its primary runner since Carson went down, but the team still has ex-first-rounder Rashaad Penny in the fold. The injury-prone back has only logged 26 carries over the past two seasons, however.

Seahawks’ Chris Carson Not Progressing After Practice Return

The Seahawks have seen their starting running back struggle with a neck injury this season. Chris Carson has missed the past five games, and his return from IR may now be in question.

Although Carson returned to practice Nov. 10, starting his 21-day activation clock, Pete Carroll said Wednesday the fifth-year veteran has not made the progress the team hoped in the time since, via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta (on Twitter). Considering Carroll’s usual injury-related optimism, his Carson assessment is certainly notable.

This report comes a few weeks after another that indicated Carson had an uncertain timetable. Given that Carson returned to practice and is now on the mend again, the prospect of a season-ending IR reversion — similar to that of the Ravens’ Derek Wolfe, whose 21-day return window closed Tuesday — is realistic.

Seattle re-signed Carson on a two-year, $10.43MM deal in March, doing so after the former seventh-round pick established himself as the team’s starting back over the previous three years. Carson, 27, cleared 1,100 rushing yards in 2018 and ’19, holding off first-round pick Rashaad Penny for the position. His two strong years notwithstanding, Carson has an extensive injury history. He suffered a broken leg as a rookie, missed the end of the 2019 season because of a hip injury and was sidelined for four games last season due to a foot sprain. This neck issue has brought another bad break for the Day 3 success story.

The Seahawks rank 22nd in rushing but do now have injury-prone Penny healthy, with the former first-round pick working alongside veteran Alex Collins.

Seahawks Activate Russell Wilson From IR

Pete Carroll confirmed Russell Wilson will start against the Packers, and the Seahawks made it official Friday evening. Wilson is back on Seattle’s active roster.

On IR since rupturing a right middle finger tendon in Week 5, Wilson will return after missing the minimum three games. The 10th-year Seahawks quarterback underwent two surgeries but beat the six- to eight-week timetable initially floated once the extent of his injuries became public.

Seattle went 1-2 without Wilson and lost to the Rams during the game he suffered the injury — his first notable setback as a pro. Wilson had started 149 straight games prior to this finger issue. His absence led to three Geno Smith starts and the Seahawks tumbling down the NFC standings. They are 3-5 entering Week 10.

Wilson, who will turn 33 later this month, has thrown 10 touchdown passes and just one interception this season. Over his five-game sample, he ranks seventh in QBR. Should Aaron Rodgers clear COVID-19 protocols as the Packers expect, the future Hall of Famers will match up for the ninth time (counting playoff games) Sunday.

Placed on IR the same day as Wilson, Chris Carson will not be activated along with the quarterback. Carroll said his starting running back, who returned to practice this week, will not play against the Packers. Carson is working his way back from a neck injury.

In addition to activating Wilson, the Seahawks also moved rookie wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge from IR back to the active roster. Chosen in the second round, Eskridge has not played since suffering a concussion in Week 1. Following the concerningly lengthy absence, the Western Michigan product will attempt to salvage the remainder of his rookie year.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/10/21

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the day:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals 

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed: K Lirim Hajrullahu

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Latest On Seahawks RB Chris Carson

The Seahawks are still hoping that Chris Carson will return this season, but head coach Pete Carroll cautioned that the organization will soon have to make a decision about his starting running back’s availability for the rest of the 2021 campaign.

“He’s got to make a turn here, show us that he is feeling better and good enough to really go for it,” Carroll said (via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times). “He hasn’t been able to come out to practice yet and go.

“Pretty soon you will be saying, ‘Is he going to make it back?’ just like you are asking, and I’m not ready to do that yet. I’m really keeping my fingers crossed for him that he gets a chance to come back and play. He’s working out hard, but he’s not ready to practice football yet.”

Carson landed on injured reserve in mid-October with a neck injury. Per Condotta, Carson had been dealing with the injury since the preseason, with Carroll previously describing it as a “lingering” ailment. The 27-year-old managed to play through the discomfort for the first four games of the season, collecting 261 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown.

The former seventh-round pick has dealt with his fair share of injuries throughout his career; he missed most of his rookie year with a broken leg, missed the end of the 2019 season with an arm injury, and was down for four games in 2020 with a foot issue. Still, he was able to secure a two-year, $10.4MM deal this offseason.

At the earliest, Carson won’t be able to return from injured reserve until Week 10, which happens to follow Seattle’s bye week. For the time being, the Seahawks will continue rolling with a running back corps that’s led by Alex Collins and Rashaad Penny.