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Kam Chancellor, Cliff Avril could be done with football

Kam Chancellor suffered a neck injury Nov. 9. (AP file photo)

RENTON, Wash. -- The future for Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril has been blurry since each of Seahawks defenders suffered season-ending neck injuries in 2017.

There has been speculation that both Avril and Chancellor could be done playing football, and coach Pete Carroll added validity to those thoughts Tuesday morning.

Speaking on 710 ESPN Seattle radio, Carroll said: "Cliff and Kam are going to have a hard time playing football again. The jury is not out on that yet."

Chancellor, 29, suffered what Carroll called a stinger in the closing moments of Seattle's win over the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 9. It's unclear what exactly caused the damage, however. The last contact play made by Chancellor came just before the two-minute warning, a routine-looking takedown of running back Andre Ellington. Chancellor played the next snap -- an incomplete pass -- then, after the break, rookie Delano Hill was in to replace him.

Avril, 31, had disc surgery in November after suffering a neck/spine injury on Oct. 1 when he was inadvertently heeled in the chin by Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett, causing the defensive end to lose feeling in his arms.

Details of his injury were chronicled in a Sports Illustrated feature, in which Avril tells Greg Bishop that what was initially described as a neck injury actually impacts his spine and that "changes everything" because "My life and my kids are more important than football."

Carroll addressed the media directly later Tuesday morning and provided no additional details on either defensive player, other that acknowledging that both injuries could put in jeopardy the quality of their respective lives.

"I shouldn't say any more than 'we don't know yet,'" Carroll said. "I don't know. I don't know what to tell you guys there. Those guys are marvelous people and competitors and all that. We'd love to see them through the rest of their career; I don't know what's going to happen."

Michael Bennett, a close of friend of Avril, said Monday that he'd rather see Avril step away from the game if "he had a really significant injury that would make something bad happen to him."

"As a friend you want to make sure your friends are always safe and make sure that they can be a human being when they get done playing," Bennett said. "I think sometimes at players we put our well-being behind us and we put the team in front of us. Sometimes you gotta put your well-being in the front and make sure you're able to play with your kids and be a great husband and great father for your family."

Avril would be entering the final year of the extension he signed in 2014 and is set to make a base salary of $7 million in 2018.

Chancellor in August signed a three-year, $36 million contract extension with the team that selected him out of Virginia Tech in the fifth round of the 2010 draft. His 2017 season ended with 33 total tackles and a forced fumble.

SeattlePI is a KOMO News partner. You can read this story at SeattlePI here.

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