LONDON – Turns out Derek Carr is going to be okay. There was serious concern about the Raiders quarterback after he came up from his sixth sack in obvious pain, clutching his non-throwing arm.
He went into the medical tent, emerged after a while and then threw a few warm-up passes to see if he could continue. Carr then walked over to head coach Jon Gruden and made a pitch to remain in the game should his offense get the ball back.
Gruden's response was a hard no, and for good reason. Carr got his butt kicked all night in a 27-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at Wembley Stadium here in London.
Gruden wasn't going to expose his banged-up franchise quarterback to any further risk.
"I made the decision that, if we got the ball back, we were going to A.J. McCarron," Gruden said. "There was too much fire today. Too much fire around the quarterback."
That was absolutely true. The Raiders couldn't protect Carr, plain and simple. Carr was sacked six times and hit 10 times in total. When Pro Football Focus releases total quarterback pressures on Monday, that number's gonna be sky high.
"(The protection) really wasn't close today," Gruden said. "We didn't get an opportunity to step up in the pocket and go through progressions. (The pocket) was closing quickly. You know, Derek was on the run a lot and he got hit too much. We can't allow that to happen. We just can't do it."
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It was also the second straight poor performance by the offensive front. They struggled last week against the L.A. Chargers, but couldn't do much well enough against the Seahawks, who brought pressure in waves from inside and out.
Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark in particular was vicious. He had two-and-a-half sacks and two forced fumbles working mostly against Kolton Miller.
The Raiders first-round left tackle has a bum knee hindering his effectiveness, though the entire front is dealing with an injury plague. Donald Penn's on IR. Kelechi Osemele has missed two straight with a knee sprain and backup Jon Feliciano hurt his ribs starting in Osemele's place. Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson are dealing with nagging injuries. They had third-round rookie Brandon Parker at right tackle and third-stringer Justin Murray at left guard, playing the first offensive snaps of his professional career.
That has, in part, turned a team strength into a decided weakness.
"It's hard, but you can't make excuses," Hudson said. "You have to fight. You have to go play."
This is a new experience for a Raiders offensive line considered among the league's best in recent seasons.
"It is different with so many new guys in," Hudson said, "but we have to adjust and find a way to get it right."
Offensive linemen knew their performance was subpar, and was the reason why Derek Carr took so many hits. A few of them came up to Carr and apologized for failing to protect him.
"I promise you they didn't want to get me physically beat up and get me hit," Carr said. "I know that, and I love those guys. You can hit me a thousand times, and I'll never complain about those guys, because their job is wanting to keep me upright. They are sick right now, you know. When we were getting dressed, they were saying ‘I'm sorry.' Don't tell me sorry. We're good, man. I'll never be mad at my offensive line."