Seahawks' Chris Carson to undergo season-ending neck surgery

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Chris Carson to undergo season-ending neck surgery originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Chris Carson's 2021 season is over.

The Seattle Seahawks running back will undergo season-ending surgery on his neck, head coach Pete Carroll announced Friday.

Carson played the first four games of the season, but didn't practice in the leadup to Seattle's Week 5 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams due to a neck injury. At that time, Carroll revealed Carson's neck issue was something he had been dealing with long term.

Carson didn't play against the Rams and was placed on injured reserve the following week. He was designated to return from IR on Nov. 10, but Carroll said Carson ultimately "couldn't shake" the injury.

"We had time, so we took as much time as we could to rest him, and built him up to bring him back," Carroll told reporters on Friday. "When he came back to practice the first day, it wasn't quite right. He practiced again the next day and it just didn't relent. It's been real uncomfortable for him. It's been physically uncomfortable for him."

Carroll said Carson has a "little spot" in his vertebrae "that's irritating the nerve."

The head coach added that Carson is having surgery now "so that he can play next year."

Carson, 27, finishes 2021 with 60 touches for 261 yards and three touchdowns. He has one more year remaining on the two-year, $10.4 million deal he signed with the Seahawks last offseason.

Alex Collins has taken over as Seattle's lead back in Carson's absence, rushing for 4.1 yards per attempt and two touchdowns on 84 carries.

Carroll said on Friday that 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny will start taking on a bigger role out of the backfield. Penny didn't play a single snap in Seattle's loss to the Green Bay Packers last week.

The 3-6 Seahawks host the 8-2 Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

The 49ers have their second matchup with the Seahawks on Dec. 5 in Seattle.