Seahawks rookie running back Chris Carson's hopes of returning this season are a little dimmer after he turned an ankle this week.
The Seahawks had hoped that maybe rookie Chris Carson could return at some point this season and provide a boost to what has been an inconsistent and too-dependent-on-Russell-Wilson running attack.
But the chances of that happening appear dimmer after coach Pete Carroll said on Friday that Carson had a setback in his rehab from an ankle injury suffered against the Colts on Oct. 1 that required surgery.
Carson has been on the Injured Reserve list but is eligible to come off at any time having already missed eight weeks and Carroll had professed optimism in recent days that Carson could return soon (saying on Monday, in fact, that he was “unbelievably ahead” of schedule).
“Chris had a little bit of a setback in his rehab,’’ Carroll said after Friday’s practice. “He’s been doing great. (He had) a little bit of an ankle turn. Just caught it a little bit. So just got to make sure we know what that means as he bounces back from it. We were looking to try to find a time when we could put him back on the practice field next week or the week after that. We were looking with real optimism. But I don’t know if that’s going to happen after the little setback. We’ll have to see when we get though the weekend. We won’t know until like Wednesday or something of next week where that fits.’’
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The Seahawks have just three regular-season games remaining after Sunday’s contest at Jacksonville and Carroll has said Carson would likely need two weeks of practice — one week to return to practice and then the following week to make sure his ankle could handle the work and prepare for a game — before he could play.
That makes the math pretty dicey at this point for a return for the regular season as the Seahawks may not even know until the middle of next week how Carson is recovering.
The thought has been what the Seahawks really want is for Carson to make it back for the playoffs, and if the ankle turn is not too bad that may still be a possibility.
Carson, taken in the seventh round out of Oklahoma State last April, remains Seattle’s leading rusher among tailbacks with 208 yards on 49 carries.
Without Carson, Seattle has given starts to four other players at tailback — Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls, J.D.McKissic and Mike Davis.
Davis is expected to start again Sunday against Jacksonville in what will be his third start with the team after gaining 64 yards on 16 carries in Sunday’s 24-10 win over the Eagles.
Carson is eligible to return because teams can call back two players each year who are placed on IR during the season.
Seattle has not used either of its return designations and no one else on IR appears close to returning, so the Seahawks could just hold on to one of them and hope that maybe Carson could help for the playoffs.
Two other players on IR who might be candidates to return are running back C.J. Prosise and offensive lineman Rees Odhiambo. Neither could return until the playoffs, however, and Prosise not until the second week.
In other notes….
- Seattle has officially ruled out safety Kam Chancellor (neck), guard Oday Aboushi (shoulder) and defensive tackle Nazair Jones (ankle) for the Jacksonville game with injuries. Carroll confirmed that Aboushi will be out for the season and at some point likely to go on IR. Chancellor figures to also go on IR at some point but the team has little cap space to add new players so the team for now is leaving them on the 53-man active roster since they are relatively healthy and will have to have healthy players inactive on Sunday anyway.
- Defensive end Dion Jordan is listed as questionable with a neck/stinger issue after also missing the last two weeks. Carroll said Jordan “did practice some this week. We’ll take him all the way up to gametime.’’
- Starting right guard Ethan Pocic missed Wednesday’s practice with an ankle injury but has returned and will be a go for Sunday. “He’s doing really well,” Carroll said. “He had a little bit of an ankle he was dealing with, but he’ll be fine. He practiced throughout the week and made it through, so we’re in good shape.”
- The rest of the roster is healthy for Sunday’s game. “We’re pretty healthy going in,” Carroll said after Friday’s practice. “We’ve got a couple of guys who won’t make it, but all in all, we’re in darn good shape for this time of year. We’re fired up about this opportunity; we think this is a really good football team, and we have to play terrific football to have a chance to do what we want to do here. But this time of year, these kind of challenges are what you need. Guys are jacked up and looking forward to it.’’
- Carroll also said cornerback DeShawn Shead “had a very positive first week’’ after being on the Physically Unable to Perform list all season. Shead can practice for two more weeks before the team has to either bring him back to the 53-man roster or put on IR. Carroll, though, seems to be indicating a return to the roster could happen soon. “He did really well,’’ Carroll said. “He had a good first week. He made it through a lot of stuff, he had a lot of drill work, he got into some team periods, did a little bit of one-on-ones. Very controlled, just the first time out, but he had a very positive first week.”