With Matt Schaub unlikely to play Thursday night because of a sore elbow, the spotlight will be on Derek Carr.
After sitting out last week’s exhibition game in the aftermath of a concussion, Carr is scheduled to start at quarterback against the Seahawks in the final preseason game, and the rookie from Fresno State can’t wait.
“The more that I can be out there, the happier I’ll be,” he told reporters after Monday’s practice. “That’s why we work so hard in the offseason. That’s why you spend so many hours here before anyone’s here. That’s why you do all those things, because you want to go out there and help the team win and I’ll be looking forward to it.”
Carr is coming off a fine effort against the Lions Aug. 15, and he’s had a solid preseason, showing an ability to throw deep, be accurate and put much more zip on the ball than Schaub.
In two games, Carr is 19-for-32 (59.4 percent) for 183 yards, one touchdown and one interception and a QB rating of 72.8, and he’s looked much better than Schaub (who has a QB rating of 55.1).
So, what happens if Carr again looks good against Seattle Thursday? Would the Raiders suddenly decide to go with Carr in Week 1 of the regular season against the Jets?
Doubtful. Even if Carr has a terrific game Thursday night, the Raiders plan to go with Schaub early in the season (unless his elbow doesn’t get better) and give Carr as much time as possible to develop.
Carr even told reporters Monday that “Schaubby’s going to be fine.”
But Carr says if his team needs him in the regular-season opener vs. the Jets, he’ll be ready.
“I work as hard as I can so I know when my number, if it has to be called, I’ll be ready to help us win,” Carr said.
One of the problems for Schaub is that he needs to get as much playing time as possible with the starting offense, so he’s losing valuable time this week.
But head coach Dennis Allen is staying the course. As he’s said all along, Schaub is the starter and he believes he’ll be ready soon.
“I’m not concerned about it,” Allen said of Schaub’s injury. “But we’re going to take him day-by-day and try to make sure he’s ready to go.”
An outstanding outing by Carr Thursday night, however, could certainly turn up the pressure on Schaub and the Raiders’ braintrust to re-think the plan at quarterback.