By Nick Shook
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Two neck injuries that sidelined key Seahawks might spell the ends of their careers.
That’s the sentiment Seahawks coach Pete Carroll conveyed during his Tuesday appearance on KIRO-AM when speaking about defensive end Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor. Both of the players suffered neck injuries in 2017 that ended their seasons.
Avril was sidelined by his neck injury from Week 4 through the remainder of the season, and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported back in October that the veteran defender was considering retirement. Drafted in the third round of the 2008 draft by Detroit, the 31-year-old veteran has played 10 seasons in the league, split evenly between the Lions and Seahawks, recording 74 sacks and 299 tackles.
The more surprising portion of Carroll’s statement is the inclusion of Chancellor, who at one point was thought to be a possible candidate for IR-to-return designation. Carroll was repeatedly vague when discussing Chancellor’s injury during the season. Now we’re gaining an understanding of why.
The 29-year-old safety appeared in a career-low nine games in 2017 due to the injury.
Neck injuries have ended the careers of a handful of notable players, including linebackers Scott Fujitaand Chris Spielman, and receiver Sterling Sharpe.
Carroll making such a statement is, as Rapoport tweeted, pretty strong indication that the two players’ careers are over. If so, it brings an abrupt and bittersweet finish to the careers of two crucial contributors to Seattle’s success in the last half decade.