Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson has played his last down in the NFL.
Carson is set to retire after just five seasons in the league due to a neck injury, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Seattle will release Carson with a failed physical designation. He will receive several million in injury protection benefits, as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
Carson, 27, played in just four games in 2021 after suffering a neck injury ahead in Week 5. Carson missed the rest of the season and underwent successful neck surgery in December. Head coach Pete Carroll said at the time Carson was looking forward to playing in 2022.
“He sounds very positive about coming back from this,” Carroll said. “[He’s] really anxious to get back with his guys, and he sounded good for, you know, what he just went through.”
Chris Carson is an NFL Success Story
Unfortunately for Carson, there will be no return. Regardless, Chris Carson’s career is a success story. Most seventh-round picks don’t make it far, but Carson did. Not only did he make it, but he thrived.
Carson posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2018 and 2019, becoming a key cog in the Seahawks’ offense. He finishes his career with 3,502 rushing yards and 31 combined touchdowns. Since 2018, 2,455 of those came after contact, 6th most in the NFL over that time. His 144 missed tackles puts him 9th.
Seattle’s backfield now belongs to Rashaad Penny. Penny, 26, signed a one-year, $5.75 million deal to remain in Seattle this offseason. The 2018 first-rounder ran for a career-high 749 yards in 10 games this past season.
A physical runner, Carson walks away to prioritize his health, as other stars have done in recent years. Andrew Luck, Calvin Johnson, Luke Kuechly and Ali Marpet are a few of the notables to walk away during their prime, as Carson does today.