What is a stinger? Brock Huard explains following injuries to Seahawks’ starters

Nov 17, 2017, 12:28 PM

seahawks, kam chancellor...

Pete Carroll announced Monday that Kam Chancellor would miss the remainder of the season. (AP)


LISTEN: What is a stinger and what tests are Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril undergoing to treat one?

Just over a month after losing defensive end Cliff Avril to a stinger, the Seahawks saw safety Kam Chancellor exit a Week 10 game against the Arizona Cardinals with a similar injury. Avril has since been placed on the injured reserve list, and a lack of updates on Chancellor’s condition has fans concerned.

No news is not good news when it comes to Kam Chancellor

A stinger can be relatively common to varying degrees in contact sports, but depending on the severity or frequency, the benign-sounding injury can sometimes be career-threatening. 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard took time on his Blue 42 segment of Brock and Salk Friday to help fans make sense of it all.

“Basically, a stinger is just pinching your nerve or your spinal cord in some kind of manner,” Huard said, “and the danger, especially when it came to Cliff, is it was just repetitive; they were happening more and more frequently. Sometimes it can be a disk that kind of jars into, that contacts or hits into your nerves, your spinal cord and causes that sensation that (many athletes) have had to some degree at some point when we play football. But for Cliff, it was happening at an incredibly frequent rate – (a rate) of which none of us really knew, and still don’t know. I think it’s very similar here for Kam (Chancellor).

“As far as the tests go, my hunch and my belief is (Chancellor) is going to go and have his MRIs that are going to be passed around to all the experts and see just what’s going on, and how much damage if any you’re already doing to your spinal cord.”

While stingers can often be a short-term issue, recovery for more severe cases can take months.  And long-term health risks for recurring stingers can including chronic conditions, like degenerative disk disease.

Chancellor’s injury was just over one week ago, and information is limited; there’s no way for fans to know yet whether or not it’s as costly as Avril’s. Carroll said Thursday Chancellor was still undergoing tests and he doesn’t yet know when the All Pro safety could return.

“Eventually you get bruising in your spinal cord,” Huard continued, noting the long-term risks of neck injuries. “Eventually you get a narrowing of your spinal cord, eventually you have the experts saying, ‘Enough is enough, you’re putting yourself at way too much risk,’ and I think that’s the word for Cliff and I hope that’s not the fully the word for Kam, and we won’t know here for some time.”

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