The Seahawks last Tuesday launched Chris Carson’s comeback with a failed physical rating and he is expected to retire with a neck injury at the age of 27.
The NFL Network first reported that Carson is expected to retire but that he “won’t be issuing a retirement statement, just in case his neck improves significantly.” As the NFL Network reported, a failed physical appointment would allow Carson to receive “several million” in injury protection benefits.
Carson had one year left on a contract he signed in March 2021 that was due to pay him an unsecured salary of $4.5 million this year. This contract included $5.5 million in secured funds.
Carson did not play after Game 4 of last season due to a neck problem that coach Pete Carroll said at the time was something Carson had been dealing with for a while and it exploded after playing one game against 49ers on October 3. He then underwent cervical fusion surgery in December which the team hopes will allow him to continue playing.
However, Carson was not allowed to participate in OTAs and mini-camps in the spring, and a statement from the team on Tuesday said he was again unable to pass physical ball this week with training camp scheduled to begin on Wednesday.
“It’s a huge disappointment,” the team’s website quoted Seahawks general manager John Schneider as saying. “We took her as long as possible with him, he saw a number of specialists, but unfortunately he was not able to pass the physical examination.”
The team’s website also quotes Carroll as saying, “Since the first time I saw Chris in the movie, I loved his style, and was thrilled to be able to get him when we did. To see him grow and become such an influential part of our show with such great style and all that, It was exciting to watch. We will miss him and everything he brought to our show.”
Carroll said in October that Carson had been dealing with a neck injury for some time.
“He had an old injury that you can see[in exams],” Carroll said at the time. “It’s kind of like, I don’t know if it’s chronic, but it does pop up sometimes. It wasn’t a problem in the past. He wasn’t hit, and so he got hurt. It’s a condition he probably got from weightlifting and all the things he’s done over the years. It could have been. That’s a long time thing. I caught a little bit, so we’re very careful with him. He was very uncomfortable to play.”
When Carson was unable to secure clearance to participate in the offseason program, Carroll spoke ominously about his future, acknowledging that the team had spoken to him about retirement.
“Our guys love this game they grew up playing, and when they feel there might be an end to it, it’s hard. It’s hard, and it’s real,” Carroll said. As we do with everyone else when it comes to the end of it. no escape. It’s coming, but it’s always early, so we try to fight that.”
Carson told Heavy.com in June that he hopes to keep playing, saying, “Oh, we’re still going now. I see myself playing until I feel like stopping. My mentality is to never give up. So I’m still as positive as I said, I keep fighting and get back on the field.” .
But Tuesday’s news revealed the sad truth that Carson’s career appears to be over.
Carson leaves Seattle with a legacy of physical and powerful running style rivaled only by Marshawn Lynch during Carroll’s Seahawks era, and being one of the team’s top picks late in the franchise’s history.
Carson came to Seattle as a seventh-round pick in 2017 from Oklahoma State and emerged as one of the team’s top late picks in recent years, immediately earning a starting role. But his rookie season was interrupted when he fractured his leg after four games and had to miss the rest of the year.
He played 41 out of 48 potential games over the next three seasons, though, and rushed for a career-high 1,230 yards in 2019 — the highest single-season total for any Seahawk since Lynch in 2014.
Carson leaves the team eighth in franchise history in rushing with 3,502 yards and sixth in touchdown touchdowns with 24. His 100-yard games since 2018 are fifth in the NFL.
Seattle predicted Carson might not be able to play this season by drafting Kane Walker of Michigan State’s third with 41st in the second round in April. Seattle also re-signed a one-year contract with Rashad Penny in March, and Penny Walker is now the team’s back duo heading into 2022 with Tuesday’s news on Carson.
Besides Penny Walker, Seattle has four other contestants on its roster: Travis Homer, Dejay Dallas, Josh Johnson and Darwin Thompson.
But there will be no other Carson.
“He was a fantastic professional,” Schneider said in the team statement on Tuesday. “A guy who brings amazing energy about him. His running style is what we’ve always wanted here in Seattle. He’s the kind of runner that the whole team feeds on. The kind of defensive players that come off the bench to watch him run – they can feel his energy. He’s the kind of runner that affects his style. On the whole team, not just the attack.”
“It was one of my all-time favorite Seahawks,” Carroll said in June. “I loved what he defended and what he brought, and we would love to bring him back. He is a very special player and a very special opponent. We will keep our fingers crossed. … We are all pulling for him.”
Some of Carson’s teammates took to social media after the news broke to pay the tribute. Simply Penny post a picture From himself with Carson while his teammate Travis Homer was running back Post a clip From TD Carson with the phrase “The Dog Mentality”.
This story will be updated.