Defensive end Cliff Avril was released by the Seattle Seahawks on Friday with a failed physical designation due to a neck injury that cost him most of the 2017 season.
Avril's release was expected and likely means the end of a 10-year career during which he was a standout player for the Seahawks and the Detroit Lions.
Avril was injured in Week 4 last season while trying to chase down Indianapolis quarterback Jacoby Brissett. The back of Brissett's foot caught Avril in the chin as he lunged to make the tackle. Avril was seen shaking his arms and flexing his hands after the impact.
While the play looked innocuous Authentic Ryan Kerrigan Jersey
, Avril's head snapped back violently and he suffered a neck injury. Avril never revealed the specific diagnosis for his injury but coach Pete Carroll repeatedly called it a serious situation. Avril had neck surgery following the season.
Carroll praised Avril after Seattle concluded the first day of its rookie minicamp.
"He's been a great leader. He's been a bit of a statesman for us. He always says the right thing, stands for the right stuff and been a really high character guy that you can always count on," Carroll said. "A great competitor in the program. I love him and would like to keep him connected with our club as long as we can because he's just exactly what you hope to represent you. He's had a great career with us."
Avril arrived in Seattle before the 2013 season and instantly helped transform the Seahawks defense into one of the best in recent memory. He was part of a rotation at first but became a full-time starter in 2014. His best season came in 2016 when Avril had a career-high 11 ? sacks and was voted to the Pro Bowl for the only time in his career.
Avril spent five seasons in Detroit before coming to Seattle. He was a third-round pick out of Purdue and suffered through a 0-16 season in his rookie year with the Lions. He became a standout in Detroit but experienced his greatest team success in Seattle, helping the team win the Super Bowl in his first season with the Seahawks. He made a return trip to the championship game with the team the following year.
"Thank you 12s for making the last 5 years in Seattle so amazing!" Avril wrote in a post on Instagram . "Your cheers on Sundays are unmatched, and you guys are by far the best fans in the NFL! Most importantly, I appreciate and value the lifelong friendships I've made. You all have supported my family, my foundation (the Cliff Avril Family Foundation) Cal Clutterbuck Jersey
, and I throughout my entire tenure, and I could not have asked for more! THANK YOU to the entire Seahawk organization as well as my teammates. You all made me a Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl Champ! I am forever grateful."
Releasing Avril will save Seattle about $6 million against the salary cap. But the Seahawks will also be faced with replacing another productive standout from a defense that had already seen the departures of Michael Bennett and Richard Sherman earlier this offseason.
So much of the chatter before Boston’s first-round matchup with Milwaukee focused on who wouldn’t be on the court for the Celtics.
Injuries forced Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart to join Gordon Hayward and Daniel Theis as spectators by the end of the regular season. It seemingly left the East’s second seed vulnerable against a Bucks team boasting one of the league’s most versatile scorers in All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
It took seven games, but the Celtics got just enough from the healthy players left on their roster to hold off Milwaukee with a 112-96 victory on Saturday night .
Now they’ll turn their attention to Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and another youth-led team in the Eastern Conference semifinals against Philadelphia.
”It’s something we’ve had to go through all season,” said rookie Jayson Tatum, who had 20 points on Saturday, becoming just the second rookie in Celtics’ history to score 20 in a Game 7. ”Some way Marshall Newhouse Jersey
, somehow, we figure it out. And I think that’s what’s unique about our team.”
Tatum is just one of the young faces that remain on Boston’s bench that have grown up fast over the past three weeks. Because of it, the Celtics that have squeezed out their best basketball despite the multiple subtractions to their roster.
Terry Rozier put up career numbers after stepping into a starting role. Smart injected new life into the team over the last three games following his return to action from thumb surgery. Then there was rookie Semi Ojeleye, who made things difficult late in the series for Antetokounmpo.
And they still had at least a veteran to lean on.
Al Horford provided not only his voice, but probably his best stretch of games in a Celtics uniform over the last seven games. He matched his playoff career high with 26 points on 13 of 17 shooting in Game 7 and averaged a team-high 18.1 points and 8.7 rebounds for the series.
”It’s what I think I’ve been doing all year,” Horford said. ”It’s what we’ve been doing as a group. We didn’t treat this any differently. … I felt like our guys, their poise was great. Milwaukee fought hard. They kept giving us shots Jay Beagle Jersey
, our guys stayed with it and eventually we wore them (out).”
But Boston will enter the series with the 76ers facing yet another challenge.
Jaylen Brown, who had two 30-point games in the series, left near the end of the second quarter on Saturday and sat out the entire second half with a right hamstring injury.
He said afterward that trainers believe he has a Grade 1 sprain. He was put on anti-inflammatory medication and will get an MRI on Sunday. With rest and treatment he’s optimistic that he’ll be ready to go for Game 1 against the 76ers on Monday night.
”Whatever it takes, I wouldn’t miss this series for the world,” Brown said.
Late in the fourth quarter with the Celtics leading the Bucks by 19 points, ”We want Philly!” chants began to echo throughout TD Garden.
It wasn’t quite ”Beat L.A.!” But it certainly had echoes of the 1982 rendition that Boston fans bellowed in the closing minutes of Boston’s Game 7 loss to Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference Finals that year.
Now it’s the 76ers that stand in the way of Boston getting back to the conference finals for the second straight year.
”We’ve played them quite a bit. It’s been awhile since we played them,” Tatum said. ”But they’re a big Marquez Valdes-Scantling Jersey
, physical team.”
GAME 7 DOMINANCE
Boston improved to 20-4 all-time in Game 7s at home. The Celtics are 23-8 in Game 7 overall.
BACK IN THE SEMIS
With the win, the Celtics have advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 2011-2012 postseasons.
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