Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson retiring from NFL due to neck injury

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The neck injury that cut short Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson's 2021 season has ultimately ended his career.

Carson decided to retire on Tuesday after five NFL seasons, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

The 27-year-old had failed his physical and the Seahawks are officially releasing him with a failed physical designation, which under the collective bargaining agreement allows Carson to receive several million dollars in injury protection benefits.

Carson had been hopeful of being healthy enough to play this year after being sidelined since Week 4 of the 2021 season with the serious neck injury.

When healthy, Carson was one of the top running backs in the league, ranking fifth in rushing yards in 2018 with 1,151 yards and fifth again a year later with a career-high 1,230 yards.

A seventh-round pick by the Seahawks in 2017, Carson finishes his career with 3,502 rushing yards with 24 rushing touchdowns.

Upon Carson's retirement, Rashaad Penny and rookie Kenneth Walker III will handle the running back duties for a Seattle team that expects to rely heavily on the ground game with Geno Smith and Drew Lock competing for the starting quarterback job after Russell Wilson was traded to the Denver Broncos.

Penny led the Seahawks with 749 rushing yards last season and his average of 6.29 yards per attempt was the highest in the NFL among all players with a minimum of 100 carries.

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