SAN DIEGO – Quarterback Derek Carr played yet another game without going under center. The Raiders offense operated exclusively out of the shotgun and pistol formations to protect Carr’s right pinky, which was dislocated in two places three weeks ago on a botched snap against Carolina.
Carr worked on snaps from under center during the practice week leading up to Sunday’s game at San Diego and again in pregame warm-ups, but used it only once in the game.
Carr says the pinky is just fine, thank you, and shouldn’t impact the Raiders play calling or offense in any way.
“I (took snaps under center) before the game,” Carr said. “I have no limitations. That’s just what we’ve been doing.”
The Raiders beat the Chargers 19-16 on Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium despite being stuck in the shotgun and pistol, through their offense had issues in the red zone. They are 1-for-10 (excluding a kneel-down series) inside the opposing 20-yard line the last two games.
The Raiders were able to run well overall – operating from aforementioned formations could have an impact on the ground game – and totaled 145 yards on 29 carries.
But, at times when they want to run with power, it can be a hindrance. That was the case on three plays from the Chargers 1-yard line in the fourth quarter, where they failed to punch it in from that distance and settled for a game-tying field goal.
“It is somewhat of an issue,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “It is not ideal. Being completely honest about it, it is an issue that we are working through, but it is the way we’re choosing to work through it right now. At some point we will feel better about going under center. We will, but until then we’ll execute the best we can out of the formations we feel most comfortable with.”
The Raiders are typically conservative with injuries and prefer to avoid setbacks whenever possible. They certainly don’t want their top-flight quarterback being unnecessarily exposed to injury.
The wins keep coming, and Carr continually says the pinky has no impact on his ability to execute. The Raiders will continue working on taking snaps from center in hopes of bringing it back and having a truly open playbook.