Seahawks' Chris Carson Reportedly to Retire from NFL Because of Neck Injury

Erin WalshJuly 26, 2022

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JANUARY 09: Running back Chris Carson #32 of the Seattle Seahawks carries the football against the defense of the Los Angeles Rams during the first quarter of the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Lumen Field on January 09, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson will reportedly retire from the NFL due to a neck injury, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

"SEA will officially release him with a failed physical designation," Rapoport wrote. "Under the CBA, that allows Carson to receive several million in injury protection benefits. Seattle does right by him."

The 27-year-old had spent his entire five-year career in Seattle after being selected in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL draft out of Oklahoma State. In 49 career games, Carson rushed for 3,502 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also caught 107 passes for 804 yards and seven scores.

Carson appeared in just four games during his 2017 rookie season before fracturing his leg. He went on to have back-to-back 1,000-plus-yard rushing seasons in 2018 and 2019. He rushed for 1,151 yards and nine scores in 2018 and 1,230 yards and seven scores in 2019.

Carson's production dropped off in 2020 as he rushed for 681 yards and five scores. He then appeared in just four games during the 2021 campaign, rushing for 232 yards and three scores, before undergoing season-ending neck surgery.

Last month, Carson told told Jonathan Adams of Heavy.com that he did not have a timeline to return from his neck surgery and that he didn't have plans to retire.

"Oh, we still going right now," Carson said. "I see myself playing until I feel like stopping. My mindset is never to give up. So, I'm staying positive like I said, and continue to fight and get back onto the field."

With Carson now set to retire, the Seahawks can rely on Rashaad Penny, Kenneth Walker III and DeeJay Dallas at running back. Penny led the team in rushing last season with 749 yards and six touchdowns.

Walker was selected in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft out of Michigan State. He had a breakout 2021 campaign with the Spartans, rushing for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns in 12 games.

Dallas, meanwhile, has spent the last two seasons in Seattle. He rushed for 138 yards and two scores in 2021.