The Seattle Seahawks have decided to place Cliff Avril on the injured reserve, but what’s next for the defensive end remains unclear.
Avril, suffered a neck/spinal injury while attempting to make a tackle in Seattle’s Week 4 game against the Indianpolis Colts, and is still seeking medical opinions to assess the seriousness of the injury.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has tip-toed around the specifics of Avril’s situation, adding that the Pro Bowl defensive end is looking at a “big decision” in the future.
Carroll told Dori Monson of KIRO Radio 97.3 FM during his weekly Friday appearance that Avril has been placed on the injured reserve. The move was listed on the league’s official transaction report on Friday.
“He’s gone on injured reserve, and he’s working at trying to figure it all out. He’s got time to do that, ” Carroll said on Friday. “We’re in total support of him, and giving him all of the backup to take the time and make sure that he makes good decisions. It’s very important. He’s had a great career and he’s been a great performer here with us and a great team guy here with us, and we just want to support him and love him up as much as he figures it out.”
Carroll didn’t rule out if Avril could see the field this season, saying the team will “wait and see.” There have been mixed reports on whether the 31-year-old’s injury is career-threatening.
Seahawks' Cliff Avril has sought a few medical opinions on his neck. Seeing another doc today. Thorough process as he decides on his future.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 17, 2017
Spoke to Cliff Avril for a project and he's NOT considering retirement. He's getting numerous medical opinions but plans to return.— Greg Bishop (@GregBishopSI) October 19, 2017
Defensive coordinator Kris Richard is hopeful Avril will have a future with the Seahawks.
“Right now, we’re unsure,” Richard said on Thursday. “There really isn’t anything in concrete or in stone that has been settled. If we get him, man, that would certainly be awesome. He’s a huge piece of our puzzle. If not, we have to make sure we really carry on what he and others have started.”
Avril is coming off a career year in 2016, recording 11.5 sacks and earning his first Pro Bowl appearance. He has one sack throughout four games this season.
Avril would be eligible to return from injured reserve after eight weeks and to practice in six weeks. As he continues to figure things out, backup defensive end Frank Clark will start in his place.