Why Chris Carson is Seahawks’ most intriguing player returning from injury

Feb 4, 2020, 11:57 AM | Updated: 12:12 pm

By the end of the 2019 Seahawks season, Seattle’s offense was seriously banged up.

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Tight end Will Dissly, who has done nothing but produce when healthy since being drafted in 2018, had his season ended in Week 6 with a torn Achilles.

Justin Britt, Seattle’s reliable center and its longest-tenured offensive lineman, was done two weeks later with an ACL tear.

Running back Rashaad Penny, who was in the midst of a breakout stretch of games, suffered an ACL injury of his own in Week 14.

And just two weeks after that, both starting running back Chris Carson (hip) and C.J. Prosise (arm) joined them all on injured reserve, leading the Seahawks to sign Marshawn Lynch out of retirement to head up a patchwork backfield with 2019 sixth-round pick Travis Homer.

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With all of those players except for Prosise under contract through at least 2020 with the Seahawks, who will be the most intriguing to watch going into next season? Brock Huard of 710 ESPN Seattle pointed to as is the easy choice Tuesday morning while on with Danny and Gallant.

“He was a big part of what they were. You saw that without him,” Huard said.

Indeed, Seattle’s running game took a big hit without Carson. He was fifth in the NFL in rushing yards in 2019 with 1,230 even with missing the final game of the year, and the Seahawks didn’t have near the same kind of running attack without him and his 82 rushing yards per game average on the field in Week 17 and the playoffs.

Furthering the intrigue is the nature of Carson’s injury, which was diagnosed as a hip fracture. Seahawks safety Lano Hill had a similar injury in 2018 and was noticeably impacted by it in 2019 despite having undergone surgery. Carson, however, won’t be undergoing surgery to repair his hip.

“We saw this with Lano Hill last year and we saw it really limit him the entire offseason,” Huard said. “He was a non-participant in OTAs and minicamps. He was literally and figuratively a step behind this season with that hip injury. … Anytime you have an injury like that (and) they don’t need to go in and have surgery, I think that’s a positive, but at the same time there’s a massive amount of unknown. (Carson) is a guy that likes to train, that’s a guy that loves to take care of himself, who has really accentuated his body and his physique in his time here in Seattle, and how does that progress?”

And how does it impact his contract situation? Carson may have been a candidate to receive a extension before the 2020 season, the last year of his rookie contract, but the injury – combined with his full injury history – makes that improbable now.

“I don’t think you can extend him this offseason just because of those unknowns. I think you want to see him go about and get it done again,” Huard said of Carson. “… He’s been injured all three years basically of his career. He’s been a guy that’s been unable to be consistent over the entirety of his football career – high school, junior college, college and even these three years (with the Seahawks), so I’d be a bit apprehensive to sign him to that check.

“… Watching that with so much unknown, without a surgery, with a rehab that is gonna be kinda difficult to define, with a player itching to get back out there, with a significant enough hip injury that A) it knocks him out of the season, and B) probably three or four months of very little activity, that’s one I’ll be watching closely.”

You can hear the full conversation during the Blue 42 segment of Danny and Gallant in the player embedded below, the video at the top of the page or at this link.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard on Twitter.

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