Chris Carson to have surgery, miss rest of season with neck injury

Seattle Seahawks v Indianapolis Colts

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - SEPTEMBER 12: Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson #32 breaks free from Indianapolis Colts safety Julian Blackmon #32 during the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

RENTON -- Seahawks running back Chris Carson will have miss the rest of the season and will have surgery to address the neck injury that had forced him to miss the previous six games.

Head coach Pete Carroll announced the decision on Friday and said that Carson is expected to be fine to return to action with the team next year.

"We went as long as we could and he worked as hard as he could at it and this is just after not being able to get it to happen and turn around, this is the best choice we've got," Carroll said. "We'll look forward to him getting all that taken care of and be ready for a big year next year."

Carson had the issue surface after the team's 28-21 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 4. He was unable to practice that week with the short turnaround to the Thursday night game against the Los Angeles Rams and was inactive for the contest. Afterward, both Carson and quarterback Russell Wilson went on injured reserve the same day the next week after Wilson's finger injury against the Rams.

Carson and Wilson both returned to practice last week but Carson wasn't able to get byeond the ongoing discomfort from the neck injury.

"We took as much time as we could to rest him and then built him up to bring him back and when he came back to practice the first day it wasn't quite right," Carroll said. "He practiced again the next day and it just didn't relent. It's been really uncomfortable for him. It's been physically uncomfortable for him. The indications were really strong that we needed to do something."

Ultimately, Carson wanted to do everything he could to make it back to the team this season. Carroll said that's part of the reason it's taken this long to make the call because they wanted to try what they could to get him back this year.

"That's the whole reason that we're doing it now and he's all for it," Carroll said. "We just couldn't shake it. We tried like crazy to get it done. But this is so that he can play next year."

Carroll said that Carson's injury isn't along the same lines as the ones sustained by safety Kam Chancellor and defensive end Cliff Avril that ultimately ended their careers.

"It's different than that. It's not the same situation. Each one of those guys had a unique situation as well, and this is uniquely different," Carroll said.

As noted by Field Gulls, the Seahawks have now had one of their top running backs land on the injured reserve list in each of the last seven seasons.

Thomas Rawls (2015), C.J. Prosise (2016-2019), Rashaad Penny (2019), Travis Homer (2020) and Carson (2017, 2019, 2021) have all ended up on injured reserve in their respective seasons.

With Carson out, the duties will fall to Alex Collins, Penny, Homer and DeeJay Dallas to continue on the rest of the season. Carson had returned to practice from the injured reserve list but had not been returned to the active roster. He will remain on injured reserve for the rest of the season.

"I'm really looking forward to Rashaad, really looking forward to see where he goes and contributes this weekend," Carroll said. "He's got a real good role for us and we're anxious to see him get going. It's really his time to help us and so as we go through the next couple of weeks you'll see him continue to be a big part of it."

Penny missed five games on injured reserve as well this year before returning to the active roster in Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints. Despite being active, Penny didn't play last week against the Green Bay Packers.

Collins has been nursing a groin injury for weeks but is ready to play against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Carroll also said that Dee Eskridge will be a bigger part of the plan this week as well as he gets back into the flow after missing most of the first half of the season with concussion-related issues.

"It's just feel and timing and fitting on the plays and all the schemes and stuff," Carroll said of Eskridge. "But he looks really good. I mean everyday he's flashing, he's so explosive and can catch the ball so well. We're just really anxious for him to fit in. So we're working that out."

Injury Updates:

Safety Jamal Adams (groin) and cornerback D.J. Reed (groin/knee) will be game-time decisions and are listed as questionable.

"They're hopeful they're going to alright," Carroll said.

Both Adams and Reed had been full participants on Wednesday, were limited on Thursday and then did not practice on Friday.

Defensive end Kerry Hyder Jr. practiced on Friday and felt good which indicates he will likely be able to play despite a calf issue.

Tackle Jamarco Jones landed on his back and was unable to practice this week.

"It's still bothering him some," Carroll said. "I can't tell you that he's going to make it. We'll wait until Sunday to figure that out."

Injury Report:

Photo: Curtis Crabtree

Photo: Curtis Crabtree

Photo Credit: INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - SEPTEMBER 12: Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson #32 breaks free from Indianapolis Colts safety Julian Blackmon #32 during the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

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