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Cliff Avril says he thinks he’ll return to football

SEATTLE – Maybe we haven’t seen the last of Cliff Avril after all.

Avril, the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive end who missed the final 12 games of the regular season after suffering a neck injury, told the NFL Network’s Steve Wyche he intends to try to play again.

“I believe so,” Avril told Wyche on Monday when Wyche asked if he will ever play 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.”

After the season ended, Carroll said a final decision hadn’t been made on the future of Avril or safety Kam Chancellor, but didn’t seem hopeful they’d return.

“Cliff and Kam are going to have a hard time playing football again,” Carroll said at the time. “The jury is not out yet — they are going to decide that themselves, but it’s going to be very difficult for those guys to come back and play again.”

What’s Avril’s motivation?

“It’s something I love to do,” he said. “It’s what I’ve been doing forever. (I’m) just a competitor. I just want to show that I can come back if that’s possible.”

Avril said he hopes if he does come back, it’s with the Seahawks.

“I hope they keep me around, but I don’t know,” Avril said. “There is a lot of changes going on from coaches, and then we’ll see what they do with the players.”

Avril said he’s talked regularly with fellow defensive end Michael Bennett, and wouldn’t be surprised if the Seahawks are in the early stages of a major rebuild.

“I can definitely see that being the case,” he said. “Everybody’s getting a little older. Last year we had a lot of injuries, that kind of slowed us down. So, they could be looking to rebuild and put some new pieces in there.”