Seahawks-Rams Injury Notes: RB Chris Carson’s neck issue isn’t new

Oct 6, 2021, 3:13 PM | Updated: 3:26 pm
Seahawks RB Chris Carson...
Titans LB Rashaan Evans attempts to stop Seahawks RB Chris Carson shy of a touchdown during the second quarter. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seahawks may be without starting running back Chris Carson in their Thursday night game against the Los Angeles Rams, and the reason given by head coach Pete Carroll turned out to be pretty revealing.

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Carson has been ruled questionable for the Week 5 game at Lumen Field with a neck injury, and while Carroll said Carson’s particular issue isn’t anything new, the news about it certainly is.

“He has had kind of a long-term, I guess it would be kind of a condition that he’s dealt with, and sometimes it flares up and sometimes it doesn’t,” Carroll said Wednesday during a press conference, opting not to divulge exactly what Carson’s condition is. “We’ve tested him and MRI’d him and all that kind of stuff, and it’s no different than it’s been. It’s just obviously inflamed right now, and so we’ve got to see if it quiets down.”

That last part is at least good news, but the new information about Carson’s condition could be worrisome in regards to his longevity as Seattle’s top running back.

Carson, 27, re-signed with the Seahawks on a two-year, $10.43 million contract after the 2020 season, and injuries have played a big part in his career since Seattle picked him in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft. A broken leg ended his rookie season just four games in, and while he ran for over 1,000 yards in both 2018 and 2019, his 2019 campaign was cut short due to a Week 16 hip injury. He missed four games with a foot sprain last year, and in the 12 games he did play he had less of a workload than in previous seasons coming off the hip injury.

In 2021, Carson has 232 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 54 carries over Seattle’s first four games. He also has six receptions for 29 yards. He was key in a Week 1 win over Indianapolis with 91 yards on 16 carries, and he had 80 yards on 12 rushes in a Week 3 loss to Minnesota.

The Seahawks’ running game was sparked in a Week 4 win last Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers not by Carson but instead backup running back Alex Collins, who had 44 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries plus 34 receiving yards on two catches.

Full injury report

Seattle’s final injury report released Wednesday was surprisingly clean, considering the short turnaround from Sunday’s win over the 49ers.

Rookie wide receiver Dee Eskridge remains out due to a concussion suffered in Week 1, as was expected, while pass rusher Benson Mayowa is questionable with his own neck injury.

The best news for the Seahawks is that defensive end Carlos Dunlap is apparently in the clear to play after suffering a toe injury Sunday. On Monday’s Pete Carroll Show on 710 ESPN Seattle, Carroll didn’t sound all that optimistic Dunlap would be able to play against the Rams.

“He has a sprained toe. Turf toe in kind of the classic fashion,” Carroll said at the time. “We’ve got to see how he responds. It’s going to be hard by Thursday night, but we’ll see.”

The Seahawks may still get tight end Gerald Everett back from the reserve/COVID-19 list in time to play his former team, as well. Carroll said Wednesday that Everett has “a chance” but needs one more negative COVID test. Players who land on the COVID list need two negative PCR tests more than 24 hours apart to be cleared to play.

Seahawks radio coverage

Seattle (2-2) hosts the 3-1 Rams at 5:20 p.m. Thursday night. The radio broadcast of the game will air on 710 ESPN Seattle and KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, with coverage starting at 2 p.m. with the pregame show. For details on how to stream Seahawks radio broadcasts, click here.

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