Will Kam Chancellor be on the field in 2018? 'If my body says I can play, I'm playing'

For years, Kam Chancellor has been a stalwart on the back end of the Seattle Seahawks defense. Over the last several seasons, however, Chancellor has increasingly struggled to stay healthy. 

Last season, Chancellor suffered a serious neck injury that put his career in jeopardy. Chancellor's injury occurred around the same time as that of Cliff Avril, who was released with a failed physical designation earlier this offseason. 

"Cliff and Kam are going to have a hard time playing football again," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said at the time both players were ruled out for the year. "The jury's not out on that yet. They're going to decide that themselves. But it's going to be very difficult for those guys to come back and play again. That's just an indication of the kinds of things that we're going to be dealing with (this offseason)."

While it looks unlikely that Avril will be back on the field anytime soon, Chancellor seems to have just a bit more hope. He is, however, realistic about his chances. "If my body says I can play, I'm playing," Chancellor said this week, per WVEC-TV. "If my body says don't play, I'm not playing. I'll listen. I'm a very good listener."

Chancellor turned 30 years old earlier this offseason and is likely exiting his physical prime, but feels like he is still in top form as far as performance goes. He says his age is not a consideration when it comes to potentially not playing again. "I don't see myself as old," Chancellor said. "I feel like I'm still in my prime, so it's not an age thing at all. It's just a matter of structural issues in the neck and if they change or not."

The Seahawks protected themselves in case Chancellor's career is over by re-signing free-agent safety Bradley McDougald on a three-year deal this offseason. McDougald had been widely expected to be a sought-after free-agent, but the Seahawks were able to secure his services on a slight discount before the market ever opened. Whoever winds up being the team's starting strong safety will have the benefit of playing next to Earl Thomas on the back half of the defense, which should help that player have success. 

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CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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