Sports: Carr could be back on the field for Raiders on Sunday.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is going to play on Sunday.
That was not the official word coming out of Raiders camp Wednesday — the official word was far more calculated and non-committal — but the unofficial word was received loud and clear:
Carr, who missed last week’s game after fracturing a bone in his back in the Raiders’ Week 4 loss to Denver, is, well ... back.
And all he has to do upon his return is save the Raiders’ season.
According to head coach Jack Del Rio, Carr, and the quarterback’s Raiders teammates, No. 4 isn’t showing any restrictions on the field, despite having fractured one of his transverse processes.
Carr isn’t fully healed from the injury, but at this point, the only limiting factor with the injury is
“It just hurts,” Carr said Wednesday. “There’s not really much more to it. It’s not like a worry. It’s just one of those things you gotta deal with, just like everybody in the NFL right now.”
Carr said he felt like he could have played against the Ravens last Sunday, and given what’s on the line for the Raiders over the next week, there’s no chance he’s not going to be on the field.
“I wanted to show my teammates and coaches that no matter what, I’m going to do anything I can for my team,” Carr said. “As soon as I was told ‘it could be up to six weeks’ I said ‘OK, we’ll see.’ Maybe there’s something wrong with me — maybe there’s something wrong in my head that thinks I can come back faster than that — I don’t know.”
No matter what screw loose Carr has, he’s going to be on the field Sunday. Don’t expect anyone on the Raiders to stand in his way.
Oakland sits at 2-3 on the year, and considering all that’s gone wrong during the Raiders’ threegame losing streak, they still sit in a relatively decent position — one game back of a wild-card spot with 11 games left.
Everything this team wants is still in front of it, because it’s hard to completely torpedo your season in the first quarter of the campaign.
But the Raiders can torpedo the season over the course of five days next week, when the Chargers and Chiefs come to town.
The Raiders are adamant that they need to get off the schneid — “We recognize the need (for a win). We need it pretty bad,” Del Rio said — but the Raiders refused to recognize the gravity of the situation in front of them.
You know the cliches. Carr, Del Rio, and the rest of the Raiders are adamant that every game is important, and that they plan to win them all.
But it’s just a bit more serious than that: The Raiders must win at least one of their next two games over the next week. No caveats, no excuses. It must to be done.
Fall to 2-5 with three losses in the division and this Raiders season is over. No, the Raiders would not be mathematically eliminated at 2-5, but effectively, this Raiders season, which started with so much promise, would be lost.
Sure, should that 2-5 record come to pass, the Raiders could rattle off seven or eight wins in their final nine games against arguably the toughest second-half schedule in the NFL. Don’t count on that happening.
As such, the Raiders season could well be defined by these next two games.
And at the helm of the offense will be a quarterback with a broken bone is his back and a bunch of pain, needing to beat either (or both) a squad with arguably the best passrush duo in the NFL and a team that he hasn’t beaten since November 2014, his rookie season.
What could go wrong? The Raiders need a bounce-back win Sunday, but Carr needs one too. His past two games have been woeful, a manifestation of all of his worst tendencies and concerns. In the Raiders’ losses to Washington and Denver, Carr looked nothing like the highestpaid player in the AFC, going 29 for 49, throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions and averaging an atrocious 4.31 adjusted yards per pass attempt.
Carr was so bad heading into his five-quarter absence that backup quarterback EJ Manuel looked relatively impressive — he had a quarterback rating of 72.3 and only averaged 5.58 adjusted yards per attempt.
How much will the back pain inhibit Carr? Only he knows.
How could that affect the sputtering Oakland offense? We’ll find out Sunday.
And I can’t help but recognize that there’s some drama here — it’s a knockoff Willis Reed scenario; it’s all on the line and a hero rises to save the day.
There’s no doubt Carr in my mind that loves that aspect of this, too.
We all know the quarterback has a flair for the dramatic.