Seahawks 90-Man Roster Primer: Chris Carson

Though Carson's overall production took a dive in 2020 due to injuries and increased emphasis on the passing game, Seattle brought back the physical, bruising back on a new two-year deal. Will he be able to avoid the injury bug and finally earn his first Pro Bowl nod? Or will the team regret giving him a second contract?
Publish date:

With the calendar flipping to July and offseason programs recently wrapping up, NFL training camps will begin around the league in less than a month. To celebrate the new incoming season, we will be breaking down the Seahawks' 90-man roster over the next several weeks, exploring best and worst case scenarios and what to expect from each player entering the 2021 campaign.

Chris Carson, Running Back

Height/Weight: 5-foot-11, 222 pounds

2020 Stats: 681 rushing yards, 4.8 yards per carry, five touchdowns, 37 catches, 287 yards, four receiving touchdowns in 12 games

There was perhaps no bigger surprise this offseason than Carson's return to the Seahawks in free agency. Long thought to eventually be priced out of Seattle's plans, he returned on a two-year contract worth $10.85 million thanks in part to a diminished market created by COVID-19 salary cap restrictions. Carson's deal was nearly universally praised as a win-win and he will bring his bruising style back to Seattle's backfield as the undisputed starter. While known for his bruising and physical style, Carson is often overlooked for the all-around running back he is. A true three-down back, he has improved each of his first four years as a receiver and in the blitz pickup game. While nagging injuries have kept him from the recognition he has earned and he has yet to be named to a Pro Bowl, there isn't a single player in the locker room who doesn't understand how important he is to this team's success. 

Best Case Scenario: Carson plays in all 16 games for the first time in his career and replicates his success from 2018 and 2019 while continuing to make strides in the receiving game. His physical and slashing style meshes well with the outside zone concepts being introduced by new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and he earns a Pro Bowl nod for the first time.

Worst Case Scenario: Carson deals with nagging injuries all year and thus struggles to get integrated into a new system coordinated by Waldron, leading to a Seahawks offense that struggles to protect Russell Wilson without an adequate running game.

What to Expect in 2021: So long as Carson is healthy, Seahawks fans should expect what they've known him to be: a Pro Bowl caliber running back. He's eclipsed 1,100 yards twice and has scored nine touchdowns in each of his last three seasons, despite missing seven games during that span. Carson's one-cut quickness fits well with outside zone concepts and his presence on third down is a potential game-changer for the Seahawks. Coach Pete Carroll has often said that a strong running game completes the "circle of toughness." While there is a new offensive mind calling the shots, Carson is still a vital member of this offense that can make Wilson even more effective with a strong running game in its back pocket. Carson will likely be overlooked by the national media once again, but the players, coaches, and fans will understand just how important he is.

Previous Seahawks 90-Man Roster Primers

Alex McGough | Darvin Kidsy | Greg Eiland | Joshua Moon | Cam Sutton | Walter Palmore | Jared Hocker | Brad Lundblade | Aashari Crosswell | Myles Adams | Jon Rhattigan | Aaron Fuller | Bryan Mills I Jake Curhan | Jarrod Hewitt | Connor Wedington | Nate Evans | Danny Etling | John Ursua | Gavin Heslop | Pier-Oliver Lestage | Tommy Champion | Cody Thompson | Josh Johnson | Saivion Smith | Jordan Miller | Aaron Donkor | Robert Nkemdiche | Alex Collins | Tyler Mabry | Damarious Randall | Cade Johnson | Cedrick Lattimore | Phil Haynes | Geno Smith | Kyle Fuller | Travis Homer | Tyler Ott | Rasheem Green | Ben Burr-Kirven | Penny Hart | Jamarco Jones | Aldon Smith | DeeJay Dallas | Nick Bellore | Stone Forsythe | Colby Parkinson | Al Woods | Cedric Ogbuehi | Alton Robinson | Jordan Simmons | Pierre Desir | Ryan Neal | Tre Flowers | Michael Dickson | Jason Myers | Freddie Swain | Cody Barton | Bryan Mone | Benson Mayowa | Rashaad Penny | Ugo Amadi | Ethan Pocic | Tre Brown | Darrell Taylor | Will Dissly | Ahkello Witherspoon | Kerry Hyder | Marquise Blair | Brandon Shell | D'Wayne Eskridge | L.J. Collier | Gerald Everett | D.J. Reed | Damien Lewis