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Raiders coach Jon Gruden ‘optimistic’ quarterback Derek Carr can play Saturday against Miami

Las Vegas quarterback not listed on injury report

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

UPDATE: Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden said on Friday that he is “optimistic” that quarterback Derek Carr will be ready to play Saturday at home against the Miami Dolphins.

Gruden said he “doesn’t want to let the cat out of the bag,” though. However, when the Raiders’ injury report came out shortly after Gruden talked to the media on Christmas Day, Carr’s name was not on the list. So, he’s going to play unless he has a setback from the groin injury that knocked him out against the Los Angeles Chargers a week ago.

Gruden also said defensive end Clelin Ferrell will miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury. Also, Nicholas Morrow joined fellow linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list. However, receiver Henry Ruggs III, safety Erik Harris and cornerback Daryl Worley are off the COVID list and all have a chance to play Saturday. The Raiders have put 33 players on the COVID list this season, which is the third most in the NFL.

Gruden expects offensive coordinator Greg Olson back from the COVID list for the game, but linebackers coach Jim O’Neil will be out for the Miami game.

December 23 report

In a major injury development, Las Vegas Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr practiced fully Wednesday, which means, barring a setback, he should likely play Saturday night at home against the Miami Dolphins.

Carr left last Thursday night’s home loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in the first quarter when he strained his groin on a scramble near the goal line. He did not return to the game. It was reported Carr would need 10-14 days to recover, The day after the game, Raiders coach Jon Gruden said his starting quarterback would be
“50/50” to play against the Dolphins.

Carr was limited in practice Tuesday and he said he would do all he could to try to play, but he didn’t sound for certain he would play. Gruden said the team would be smart in its final quarterback decision this week.

The fact that Carr was well enough to practice fully three days before the game is a strong indication he will play Saturday unless he suffers a setback. Backup quarterback Marcus Mariota took over for Carr against the Chargers and played well. He split reps with Carr on Tuesday and he will play if Carr can’t go or gets hurt during the game

Carr is a famous fast healer. He missed just one game with a broken bone in his back in 2017 even though he was expected to miss multiple games.

Meanwhile, Carr’s progress wasn’t the only good injury news for Las Vegas on Wednesday. Safety Johnathan Abram (concussion), wide receiver Hunter Renfrow and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (hamstring) all practiced fully.