The Seattle Seahawks will finish out the 2021 season without Chris Carson in the lineup. The fifth-year running back will undergo season-ending surgery on his neck with the goal of returning in 2022 and playing a full season.
Head coach Pete Carroll provided the update on Friday, November 19, telling media members that Carson put in a considerable effort trying to get back onto the field but that he will have to undergo surgery. Still, the Seahawks head coach expressed optimism about Carson’s return to the field in 2022.
“Chris is going to have season-ending surgery so that he can get ready to play for next season,” Carroll said on November 19. “We went as long as we could, and he worked as hard as he could at it. This is just after not being able to get it to happen. This is the best choice we’ve got. We look forward to him getting it all taken care of and having a big year next year.”
Carroll added that Carson “is all for” the surgery and that it will make it possible for him to play next season. The head coach also reiterated that this neck injury is not the same as the ones that ended Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor’s careers before confirming that this difference is why he is optimistic about Carson’s situation.
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Carroll Previously Provided a Grim Outlook About Carson’s Availability
Prior to the Week 9 bye, Carson made his return to the practice field and created optimism about his potential return from Injured Reserve. He had a goal of returning to the lineup for the game against the Packers, but he was unable to meet this timeline.
Carroll then provided a grim outlook about the running back’s availability on Wednesday, November 17. He met with media members and said that Carson had not made the desired amount of progress in his neck recovery. He would sit out of practice and remain on Injured Reserve.
Two days later, Carroll confirmed that Carson will miss the remainder of the season. He will undergo surgery to repair a “spot” issue on vertebrae in his neck, something that Carroll said was not an issue in previous seasons.
Alex Collins Will Remain the Starting Running Back in Seattle
Collins took over as the starting running back with the October 7 game against the Rams, and he has not given up this role. He has logged 71 carries for a total of 268 yards and one touchdown since taking over as the starter, bringing his season-long total to 84 for 345 yards and two scores.
Collins only has one 100-yard game, which he posted against the Steelers, but he will have to produce even more to help the Seahawks. Carroll has always relied on the rushing attack during a tenure that began in 2010, but the 2021 offense has not produced in the manner that he expects.
Unless the Seahawks add a free-agent option, Collins will have to continue shouldering the load. Travis Homer, Rashaad Penny, and DeeJay Dallas will all serve as alternate options.