A lot of times in this game, players learn the hard way. Quarterbacks often get injured when they leave the pocket and try to pick up yards on the ground. There are a lot of examples of how dangerous that is -- Robert Griffin III is a cautionary tale.
That's a lesson Derek Carr just learned the easy way. He scrambled to try and pick up the first down in the team's game against the Bengals last Sunday and at the end attempted to lay a stiff arm on Bengals cornerback, Adam Jones, using his throwing arm. He immediately injured the hand and was knocked out for the remainder of the game.
He experienced a great deal of swelling from the hit and was forced to head to the locker room for X-Rays, missing the rest of the game.
"It's takes a lot for me not to go back in there," said Carr. "But I knew when I was throwing the ball with coach Moore on the sideline that something wasn't right. I just had to make sure that can I take a snap, and if I couldn't open my hand enough to take a snap, then I'm not gonna help us. And I didn't want to fumble it. The smart thing was to get it checked and see what we can do going forward."
"I could see it swelling up as I was standing there. The only reason I couldn't go back in - the pain didn't matter - it was physically opening my hand I couldn't do. If I couldn't hold the ball. . . then I knew it wasn't going to work."
The 2014 rookie quarterback said he has never missed a game to injury, and from the looks of things, he won't have to. He was back at practice today and said he made 99% of the throws, with "the one percent I didn't was just being cautious. Just to see how it would react and it was all fine. It's all good."
This is an incident his coach would not like to see happen again.
"Yeah, using his throwing hand to become a straight-arm tool, [I] would probably not ask him to repeat them." said Del Rio.
Carr's teammates would also prefer Carr refrain from trying such a stunt again. But, as with most competitors, it can be a difficult decision to make.
"It's hard man, because in the spur of the moment, especially where we were at, we needed a first down, we needed something," said Carr. "Just like my teammates said ‘we love why you did it and what you're trying to do, but don't do it again.' One of those kinds of deals. It's hard to draw that line, but I know I need to be smart just for the team's sake. Just to protect us and just get down and live to play the next play instead of not being able to come back. But I definitely learned from it, that's for sure."
That's good to hear. Unlike RGIII who despite taking several hard hits, saying he wouldn't change his playing style, and is now watching his career go down the toilet, Carr gets the importance of not taking those kind of chances.