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Carroll: Cliff Avril headed to injured reserve, hints at possible retirement

In an interview on SiriusXM Seahawks head coach indicates the Pro Bowl defensive end’s season is likely over

NFL: Pro Bowl
Cliff Avril sacks the second best QB to ever come out of NC State in the Pro Bowl last season.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of the Seattle Seahawks have been waiting for a more detailed injury update on Cliff Avril since Avril left the Sunday Night Football game against the Indianapolis Colts with reported numbness in early October. While most had low expectations following Pete Carroll’s previous description of the injury as potentially long term, during an interview on SiriusXM Carroll stated that Avril will be now be moved to the injured reserve list.

For now, this does not mean Avril’s season is finished, nor that his professional football playing days are over. However, due to the seriousness of any neck or spine injury, and the gravity with which Carroll has spoken about the situation, Avril’s season seems in jeopardy and the career in question. Thanks to recent rule changes, NFL teams can bring back two players from the IR designation during the year, provided they spent at least eight weeks on the list—so the earliest Avril could return if he feels better in 2017 is week 15 against the Los Angeles Rams.

Avril has been a mainstay on the defense since Seattle acquired him as a free agent in 2013. When Avril was inactive against the Rams in week 5 it was the first game he had missed since a slight hamstring pull the opening weekend of his first season with the Seahawks. Avril had played in all 77 regular and postseason games since then, logging more than 3,000 regular season defensive snaps with the club, after completing five seasons with the Detroit Lions. Avril won a Super Bowl after that 2013 season.

If his hustle play to chase down Jacoby Brissett near the sideline ends up being the last time Seattle fans get to see Avril in a Seahawks uniform, Avril’s frequent playmaking ability will be sorely missed. Avril leads the NFL in strip sacks (24) since entering the NFL in 2008. Avril also made his mark on the Seattle franchise with his workmanship and professionalism, and the generosity that prompted him to build homes in Haiti for each sack (12) he recorded during the 2016 season.