It’s possible that quarterback Derek Carr may be ready to play this Sunday for the Raiders.
The Oakland starter was knocked out of a game against the Broncos two weeks ago and later was diagnosed with a fractured bone in his back. At the time, it was thought Carr could miss as much as six weeks of the season.
But on Monday – a day after the Raiders dropped their third straight game – head coach Jack Del Rio said he believes Carr will be ready to start Sunday against the visiting Los Angeles Chargers.
“I have that feel,” Del Rio told reporters. “I anticipate he’ll be ready to go. He was pushing pretty hard last week.”
Carr did show up at practices late last week and was throwing. There was even some thought the Raiders might give him the OK to play, over backup EJ Manuel, in the game against Baltimore. But in the end, Oakland decided to go with Manuel, who completed 13-of-26 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown without an interception. The week before, in relief of Carr, Manuel was 11-of-17 for 106 yards and a pick.
After starting this season 2-0, the Raiders have dropped three straight and need to quickly turn things around if they are to contend in the AFC West. The Chiefs (5-0) and Broncos (3-1) are off to hot starts.
“Carr’s return can’t come soon enough for a troubled Raiders offense that has failed to achieve liftoff during the team’s three-game losing streak,” wrote Marc Sessler of NFL.com this week. “The ground game has been inconsistent while star wideout Amari Cooper has suffered drops and struggled to make plays. Barring a setback this week, the Raiders will have their most important player (Carr) ready to kick off a critical stretch that includes games against the Chiefs, Bills and Dolphins following Sunday’s showdown with the Bolts.”
The Chargers-Raiders game at O.co Coliseum is set to kick off Sunday at 1:25 p.m.