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Former OSU Star Chris Carson’s Career in Jeopardy Following Neck Injury That Required Surgery

Carson’s career is in jeopardy after a serious neck injury and subsequent surgery.



Jackson Lavarnway/PFB

Former Oklahoma State bruiser Chris Carson, who was taken in the seventh round by the Seattle Seahawks in 2017 following two productive seasons in Stillwater, is battling back from a serious neck injury that required surgery — and his career appears to be in real jeopardy.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll this week talked about Carson’s recovery, saying that while Carson is doing everything he can to get back on the field, it’s possible the neck injury could ultimately end his NFL career.

“So now we’re into the next phase of it, we’ll see what happens here,” Carroll said of Carson. “Just hold out good hope, because he’s worked really hard, and he really wants to come back and all of that. But I can’t tell you anything for certain now at this point. So the fact that we could have known, been given us the green light, that didn’t happen.”

Carson played in only four games last season because of the neck injury that subsequently required a fusion surgery. Carroll said his star tailback still does not have full range of motion and he has not been medically cleared to return. Another medical assessment of his fitness to return to the field will be conducted in the coming weeks.

“It’s just hard on him,” Carroll said. “Our guys love this game that they grow up playing and when they sense that there may be an end to it, it’s hard. It’s difficult and it’s real. We’re going to love him through it and help him as much as possible if that’s the case, like we do with everybody when it comes to the end of it. It’s inevitable. It’s coming. But it’s always too soon. We’re trying to fight that off and he knows that. He’s battling. He’s doing everything he can and he wants to compete all the way until the last word, and so he’s going for it.”

Seattle re-signed former first-round pick Rashaad Penny at running back this offseason and drafted Kenneth Walker with the 41st overall pick, potentially as insurance in the event Carson is unable to return. At 27 years old, Carson has spent five seasons with Seattle and embodied the toughness and attitude Carroll seems to embrace in players.

“He’s been one of my favorite Seahawks ever,” Carroll said. “Loved what he stood for and what he brought and we’d love to have him back again. He’s a very special player and a very special competitor on your team and person. So we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

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