Cliff Avril placed on IR; considering retirement

Dec 15, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril (56) celebrates after sacking Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks won 24-3. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Cliff Avril’s 2017 season is likely over,, and his career is also in jeopardy. Pete Carroll announced on Wednesday on Sirius XM NFL Radio that the team is putting the defensive end on injured reserve. The injury is also causing Avril, 31, to consider retiring from the NFL, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Avril has been dealing with a neck injury that has bothered him since Seattle’s Week 4 game against the Indianapolis Colts. The injury occurred in the first quarter when Avril dove at Colts’ quarterback Jacoby Brissett’s feet to make a tackle, but Brissett’s foot inadvertently kicked Avril in the head/neck area.

Avril has seen specialists to determine the severity of his injury. It was reported that Avril saw a doctor on Tuesday, and the news of him being placed on IR the following day.

Avril has been a force since he joined the Seahawks in 2013. He has registered a total of 34.5 sacks and 143 total tackles in a Seattle uniform. He has eight or more sacks in three of his five seasons in Seattle, including 11.5 in 2016, the same year he was selected to his first Pro Bowl in his career. In four games in 2017, Avril has one sack and two tackles.

Avril was one of the key cogs in one of the NFL’s best front sevens. His absence allows offenses to focus more attention on Michael Bennett and Sheldon Richardson.

In Avril’s absence, the Seahawks have relied on Frank Clark and Marcus Smith III to step up in his absence. Clark is an excellent pass rusher, and has slid into Avril’s role causing disruption in the passing game. The one thing that Clark cannot replace is Avril’s experience and leadership.

The team has not officially placed Avril on injured reserve, but it is expected to happen soon, especially after Carroll’s comments. There have been no reports on which way Avril is leaning regarding his possible retirement.

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