Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson will undergo season-ending neck surgery, coach Pete Carroll said on Friday.
Carson has played in just four games this season due to “chronic” neck pain. He’ll have “a cervical surgery,” Carroll said, as there’s “just a spot” in one of his vertebrae that needs attention.
"Chris is going to have season-ending surgery so that he can get ready to play for next season," Carroll said, via the team. "We went as long as we could, and he worked as hard as he could at it, and after just not being able to get it to happen and turn around, this is the best choice we got. So we'll look forward to him getting all of that taken care of and being ready for a big year next year."
Carson has run for 232 yards and three touchdowns in four games this season, his fifth with the Seahawks. The 27-year-old is in the first year of a two-year, $10.4 million deal with Seattle.
Carson hasn’t played since Oct. 3, when the Seahawks beat the 49ers. Carson had 30 yards on 13 carries in that win. He landed on injured reserve nearly two weeks later. He tried to practice again last week, but it didn’t go as well as he or the team had hoped.
“When he came back to practice the first day it wasn’t quite right,” Carroll said, via The Seattle Times. “He practiced again the next day, and it just didn’t relent and it’s been really uncomfortable for him.”
Carson recorded back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons in 2018 and 2019, and he had 681 yards on the ground last season in 12 games.
Though a neck injury can be serious, and could significantly hinder or even end a career early, Carroll insisted that’s why the team opted for surgery to fix the issue now. They don’t want this to linger into next season.
“He’s an avid, avid weightlifter, and he puts a ton of weight on his shoulders, and it’s right up there,” Carroll said, via The Seattle Times. “Who knows? It could come from anywhere. So it’s a wear-and-tear type of thing that developed. He has not had signs of it from the past.”