Cliff Avril isn’t ready to call a career.
Avril, the Seahawks’ Pro Bowl defensive end who suffered a season-ending neck injury, told the NFL Network’s Steve Wyche he plans to try and play again after he has recovered from a disc-related November surgery.
“I mean, it’s something I love to do. It’s what I’ve been doing forever and, just as a competitor, I want to show that I can come back if it’s possible, you know?” Avril told Wyche on the The Aftermath on the NFL Network. “Right now it’s all about recovery. I had surgery. I’m in the process of recovering. It’s a long process, a long journey. When I get to the end of that, then I’ll figure out what’s next.”
At the conclusion of the Seahawks’ season, head coach Pete Carroll said both Avril and safety Kam Chancellor, who suffered a similar injury later in the season, “are going to have a hard time playing football again.”
Avril, who would be 32 by the start of the 2018 season, played just four games in 2017 before going down in an Oct. 1 game against the Indianapolis Colts. A star in his first four seasons in Seattle who always seemed to go under the radar nationally, Avril earned his first Pro Bowl nomination in 2016 by making a career-high 11.5 sacks to go with five forced fumbles.
Before signing with the Seahawks as a free agent in 2013, Avril spent the first five years of his career with the Detroit Lions, who drafted him in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of Purdue.