In Jack Del Rio’s postgame press conference following the Raiders’ 30-17 loss to the Ravens, he said he expected Derek Carr to be back this week to face the Chargers. He has reiterated that since then and Carr holding his weekly press conference also suggests he is on schedule to return.
Carr missed last week due to a fracture in his back he suffered in Denver in week 4. He was replaced by backup EJ Manuel in Oakland against the Ravens, leading to the Raiders’ third straight loss.
With Del Rio’s fairly emphatic expectation Carr will be ready, the only question was if the injury would limit what he is able to do. He said it will not.
“No. If it was restrictive, I wouldn’t put my teammates in a bad spot. That’s for sure,” Carr said Wednesday.
Judging by how Carr looked throwing during pregame last Sunday, there’s every reason to believe him.
“I mean it just hurts,” Carr said of the injury. “There’s really nothing much more to it. It just hurts. It’s not like anything that’s like, ‘Oh man, if I take a hit, I’m worried.’ It’s not like a worry. It’s just one of those things you have to deal with. Just like everybody in the NFL right now.”
Carr went on to say the idea of wearing extra padding has been discussed, and that will be a decision based on how he feels by the end of the week.
As for the injury, which is called a Transverse Process fracture, has occurred to other quarterbacks in the NFL in recent years.
Tony Romo suffered one in 2014. He missed one game and when he returned, he completed 20 of 27 passes for 246 yards and 3 touchdowns in a win over the Jaguars.
Cam Newton had the injury later that same season. He too missed one game and returned to go 18 of 31 for 201 yards, one touchdown and one interception in a win over the Browns.
Derek Carr said even his brother David had the same injury and Derek joked that “It’s good to have a big brother that has broke his back also.”
“We think he’s ready to go,” Del Rio said Wednesday. “We’ll see how practice goes and monitor as we go through the week, but I think things are encouraging.”