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Chris Carson not ready to yield Seahawks starting role to Carlos Hyde

Seattle Seahawks v Carolina Panthers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

When the 2019 season of the Seattle Seahawks came to a conclusion, neither Chris Carson nor Rashaad Penny, the team’s top two running backs, were able to contribute on the field. Penny, of course, suffered a torn ACL and “additional damage” in the Week 14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, while Carson suffered a hip fracture in the Week 16 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

The team has long stated that Penny is expected to start the 2020 season on the physically unable to perform list, while Pete Carroll and John Schneider have repeatedly stated that they anticipate Chris Carson will be ready to go Week 1. With the Hawks scheduled opener against the Atlanta Falcons still just under three months away, Carson provided fans a reason for optimism.

It’s not a lot to go on, but the fact that he appears to be moving well while being in good shape is certainly reassuring. One of the big concerns for a player who suffered an injury such as Carson’s is that to heal it requires remaining immobile for a significant period of time. That immobility can then result in muscle atrophy and a possible loss of quickness or burst due to a long layoff, which may have played a role in Ziggy Ansah’s struggles during the 2019 season.

That said, Carson appears to be in good shape in the video, and if there was any loss of muscle mass, with nearly three months to the start of the season, it doesn’t appear as though he’ll have any trouble getting back to where he was prior to the injury. That is certainly good news for the Seahawks and their fans, while possibly not quite as welcome news for recent free agent addition Carlos Hyde.

Hyde, however, is rehabbing from his own offseason surgery, having had a torn labrum repaired after the Houston Texans saw their 2019 season come to a conclusion at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. How much work Hyde earns relative to Carson will be interesting to watch. Carson is the type of big, physical back the team loves, but has landed on injured reserve during two of his three seasons in the league, while also missing time during the other. Running back is a brutal position in the NFL, and the ability to spell Carson with Hyde at times during the season could help improve Carson’s availability down the stretch.

In any case, while there’s still six weeks until the Hawks report to training camp and seven weeks after that before the season gets underway, it appears any doubts about whether Carson will be ready for Week 1 can be put to rest.