RENTON — As Chris Carson continues his rehabilitation from neck surgery, coach Pete Carroll Thursday provided the most dire indication yet that the Seahawks star may have played his last NFL game.
“Our guys love this game they grew up playing, and when they feel there might be an end to it, it’s hard. It’s hard, and it’s real,” Carroll said. As we do with everyone else when it comes to the end of the day. no escape. It’s coming, but it’s always early, so we try to fight that.”
Carson, 27, underwent neck surgery late last year for what Carroll described at the time as a “disc problem that had to be fused.”
Carroll was quick to note on Thursday that no final decision has been made on Carson’s potential return to the team.
Carson is scheduled to meet with his doctors and surgeon in two weeks, and this meeting is expected to provide a clearer picture of Carson’s progress.
It was the first time Carroll had spoken publicly about the level of concern surrounding Carson’s playing future.
Carson was given an excused absence from the team’s mandatory mini camp this week at the VMAC Center. He was in Seattle about 10 days ago to check in with the coaches.
“We had a good chance to hang out with him and feel him, and he’s worried because he wants to play,” Carroll said. “He loves the game, he’s a worker, you know. He wants to work and pay and all that, [but] There are some things he was still somewhat restricted to do. So he wasn’t quite ready to do everything at the time, and it was hard for him.”
“He’s fighting. He’s doing everything he can. He wants to compete to the last word. And so he’s doing it.”
A draft pick in the 2017 seventh round of Oklahoma State, Carson has emerged as the daredevil pioneer of the Seahawks in 2018, 2019 and 2020 with his bold, bodily style.
“It was one of my all-time favorite Seahawks,” Carroll said. “I loved what he defended and what he brought, and we would love to bring him back. He is a very special player and a very special opponent. We will keep our fingers crossed. … We are all pulling for him.”
This story will be updated.