Chris Carson's 2021 season will soon be finished.
The running back is expected to have season-ending neck surgery and will remain on injured reserve, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Coach Pete Carroll later confirmed the prognosis.
"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," Carroll said, via the team's website. "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 been on injured reserve since the middle of October, appearing in just four games before being sidelined by his neck injury. The hope was that the time away would allow Carson to recover well enough to return at some point -- the RB was designated to return to practice on Nov. 10 -- but Friday's news ends his chances.
When healthy, Carson has been a very good back for the Seahawks, rushing for at least 1,150 yards in each of his first two professional seasons. But the 5-foot-11, 222-pound runner has been forced to battle multiple injuries over the last two seasons, missing four games due to a sprained knee in 2020 and five contests in 2021 because of his neck issue.
Alex Collins has led a running back room that has worked together to replace Carson and includes Rashaad Penny, DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer. The Seahawks have rushed for 100-plus yards as a team just once (Week 6 at Pittsburgh) since Carson was last available.
With the 2021 season essentially closed for Carson and one year remaining on his current contract, he'll at least have a long offseason to get right before returning to action in 2022. He and the Seahawks will hope it produces a healthier and more productive result and Carroll is confident in that plan.
"Every bit of it that he will," Carroll said. "That's the whole reason that we're doing it now, and he's all for it. He just couldn't shake it. He tried like crazy to get it done, and this is so he can play next year."