The Seattle Seahawks will enter the 2021 season with running back Chris Carson back in the fold after he signed a two-year, $10.425 million deal. He will partner with backfield mate Rashaad Penny, forming a talented duo. Now Carson has expressed the opinion that they could be one of the top rushing duos in the NFL.
The four-year veteran made the comment to reporters on Thursday while discussing his decision to return to the Pacific Northwest. Carson acknowledged that staying healthy is a key factor in achieving this goal. He missed four games in 2020 due to a foot injury while Penny only played in three while recovering from a previous ACL tear.
“If we stay healthy, I think we can be one of the top rushing duos in the league,” Carson said, according to the team’s official website. “We both bring different things to the game, different attributes, but we complement each other so well. I just feel like his limit is ridiculous once he starts getting his feet wet in the game. I think it’ll be something special.”
ALL the latest Seahawks news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Seahawks newsletter here!
Carson continued to make a positive impact in a shortened season
Despite missing four games with his foot injury, Carson helped the Seahawks find success on the ground. He rushed for 681 yards on 141 attempts, averaging a career-high 4.8 yards-per-attempt. Carson scored five rushing touchdowns while leading the backfield. He also served as a key receiving option for quarterback Russell Wilson, adding another 287 yards and four touchdowns.
Carson is an underrated weapon in the Seahawks’ offense. He has two seasons with more than 1,000 rushing yards to his name, as well as 21 total rushing touchdowns. Carson has averaged more than 4.0 yards-per-attempt all four seasons of his career. He may not rush for more than 2,000 yards like Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans, but he consistently performs for the Seahawks.
Penny has not played a full 16-game schedule during his first three seasons with the Seahawks. He appeared in 14 games as a rookie, rushing for 419 yards, and then suited up for another 10 in 2019. Penny has yet to top 500 yards in a single season, but he has scored five combined rushing touchdowns.
Carson and Penny will face stiff competition from other top duos
While Carson has major expectations for himself and Penny, they will not simply suit up and become the best in the NFL in 2021. Keeping healthy is obviously the biggest factor, but outperforming other stars will be equally important.
There are multiple teams with high-caliber players forming powerful duos. The Minnesota Vikings are one example with Dalvin Cook rushing for 1,557 yards in 2020 and backup Alexander Mattison rushing for 434 yards of his own. Another top combo — Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt — suit up in Cleveland and lead a powerful offense. The pair combined for 1,908 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns during the 2020 season, helping lead the team to the playoffs.
Carson’s comments will create excitement among Seahawks fans, especially with the expectation that Wilson will remain in the Pacific Northwest. However, there are questions about the new play-caller and how he will impact the rushing attack.
The Seahawks hired former Rams passing-game coordinator Shane Waldron to replace the fired Brian Schottenheimer as offensive coordinator. Carson briefly met his new OC while signing his new contract, and he spoke positively to reporters about the upcoming changes.
“I’m excited. I talked to him a little bit when I went down [to Seahawks headquarters] to sign,” Carson said via The News Tribune. “Running backs coach Chad [Morton] hit me up a little bit and said it was something that was going to benefit us. … It’s just going to make things a lot simpler and clearer for us. I think it’s going to benefit us.”
READ NEXT: Cowboys Lose Starter to NFC Rival: Report