Seahawks lose Chris Carson for season just before do-or-die game against 49ers

Seattle Seahawks fans are mourning more than just the team’s surprising loss in Week 16. Following Seattle’s 27-13 loss to the Cardinals, Pete Carroll revealed the Seahawks will be without running back Chris Carson for the rest of the season.

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The 25-year-old Carson left Sunday’s game in the second quarter with a hip injury and was unable to return. Carroll said he does not expect Carson to play the rest of the season. Carroll wasn’t just talking about Week 17, either. He expressed doubt that Carson would be able to return in the postseason.

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Carroll did leave some possibility Carson returns in the playoffs, but Carroll didn’t seem optimistic.

Carson has been a major part of the Seahawks’ offense this season. In 15 games, Carson has rushed for 1,230 yards and seven rushing touchdowns.

With Carson sidelined, the Seahawks’ running game is in some trouble. Carson’s primary backup, Rashaad Penny, is already out with a knee injury. That would normally mean third-stringer C.J. Prosise would be the next man up, but Prosise also got injured in Week 16. Prosise will miss the rest of the season, including the playoffs, with an arm injury.

The injuries come at the worst possible time. In Week 17, the Seahawks will take on the division rival San Francisco 49ers. The winner of that game will win the NFC West.

Who will the Seahawks trot out there for that pivotal contest? The only other running back on the active roster is rookie Travis Homer. The team also has Xavier Turner on its practice squad. Seattle could also sign a running back off the waiver wire.

While a running back injury wouldn’t normally be a season-altering event, Carson was an integral part of the Seahawks’ run-first offense. The Seahawks may have to change the way they play with Carson sidelined.

That might not be a bad thing. Putting the ball in Russell Wilson’s hands early and often is usually a recipe for success.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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