The sudden concern over Cliff Avril’s health — and thus career — has put the spotlight on the future of Seattle’s defensive line.
Almost exactly 10 years ago, Mack Strong faced a similar neck injury and decided to immediately call it a career (after 15 years). Avril, injured against the Colts on Sunday, might face the same choice in his 10th season. He is out indefinitely as he and the team investigate the cause of the stingers that numbed his arms and hands after he was kicked in the chin tackling Jacoby Brissett.
“Whenever it’s the spinal stuff and you get stingers, that means that there’s some nerve action going on there and you’ve got to be really careful and really safe with all that stuff,” Pete Carroll told KIRO Radio on Friday. “In this case in particular, we’ve just got to make sure, so we’re going to take our time with this and let it quiet down. He’s really not uncomfortable, but just some of the tests he took showed some stuff and we’ve just got to make sure we’re really honoring it and make good choices here. We’re on the same page and (will) take it one step at a time, and we’ll get to it when we can.”
It’s entirely possible Avril will return soon — maybe even after the Week 6 bye. But the 31-year-old also might decide after this injury that the ongoing risk is not worth it anymore.