Earlier this week we learned that Derek Carr would be sidelined for 2-6 weeks (back) according to Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio.
OAKLAND — Carr left the game Sunday late in the third quarter after taking a knee to the back from Defensive Tackle Adam Gotsis of the Denver Broncos. The Raiders were already trailing 16-7 with 5:00 left to play in the 3rd quarter when Carr left the game and ended up losing 16-10. This was a 2nd consecutive loss for the Raiders with little to no offense.
Last year the Raiders were marching their way into the playoffs until Derek Carr broke his leg in Week 16 against the Indianapolis Colts. The Raiders ended up losing in Week 17 without Carr and getting the first wildcard seed. They would end up losing in the first round to the Texans 27-14 with backup Connor Cook making his 2nd ever NFL start in the playoffs. The injury showed just how valuable Dereck Carr is to this team’s success.
Bring us forward to this year and there may be trouble in Oakland. Coach Del Rio stated the injury could be anywhere from 2-6 weeks. When Carr was asked how optimistic he is that he could play this week after the game he stated “I’m always optimistic”.
Carr seems like a tough guy and I don’t expect him to be out the full 6 weeks. Somewhere between the 2-4 week range would make the most sense to me. In the meantime, E.J. Manuel will be the new starter for Oakland until Carr returns. Manuel came over from Buffalo this offseason where he originally spent 4 years. Manuel never played a complete season with the Bills.
If Carr misses limited time between 2-3 weeks then I believe the Raiders will be just fine. However, keep in mind that the Kansas City Chiefs are off and racing. They are 4-0 already and look like the best team in the NFL at the moment. That would mean that the Raiders would have to look to get a wild card spot.
If Carr misses more than 3 weeks this team is in trouble. They were not playing efficiently on offense before the injury and now they are relying on E.J. Manuel to get the offense going. There next 6 games include the Ravens, Chargers, Chiefs, Bills, Dolphins, and Patriots.
If the Raiders can somehow win 3 of those 6 games which is fair that will put them at 5-5 with 6 games remaining. Their schedule then consists of Denver, Kansas City, Dallas, Philadelphia, New York Giants, and Los Angeles Chargers. At best I see another 3-3 record leaving them at 8-8 and likely out of the playoffs.