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Cliff Avril intends to play football again despite injury

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Cliff Avril will not go gently into that good night.

The Seahawks defensive end intends to play in 2018, despite missing most of the 2017 season with a career-threatening neck injury.

"I believe so," Avril told NFL Network's Steve Wyche on The Aftermath when asked Monday if he will ever play football again. "Right now it's all about recovery. I had surgery. I'm in the process of recovering. It's a long process, a long journey. When I get to the end of that, then I'll figure out what's next."

Avril suffered the injury in Week 4 and did not return for the remainder of the season, prompting reports that the veteran defender was considering retirement. Coach Pete Carroll even said at the end of the season that Avril is "going to have a hard time coming back." But the 31-year-old pass rusher said on NFL Network that, despite the odds, he's willing to give his career another go.

"I mean, it's something I love to do. It's what I've been doing forever and, just as a competitor, I want to show that I can come back if it's possible, you know?" Avril said. "You do see all the injuries. You see the game from a different perspective when you're on the sideline. And those thoughts do definitely pop into my head of 'should I come back or not?' But again, right now it's all about recovery."

Contributing to Avril's potential decision to walk away is the expected turmoil and turnover in Seattle this offseason. Kam Chancellor (who also suffered a career-threatening neck injury), Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and others are rumored to be on their way out, thanks to expiring contracts and a need to shake things up in Seattle. The Seahawks also are expected to move on from Kris Richard at defensive coordinator.

Would Avril want to return to a Legion of Boom without the recognizable boom?

"I think we're still close enough," Avril insisted. "I for sure think they'll keep the core group of guys around. I think they'll keep the guys who are great leaders around to bring the young players along. So I don't think they'll take too much of step back if they do decide to rebuild."

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