ALAMEDA (AP) — Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will miss between two and six weeks after breaking a bone in his back during a loss to the Denver Broncos.
Coach Jack Del Rio said Monday that a CT scan showed that Carr has a transverse process fracture in his back after being injured in the third quarter of a 16-10 loss Sunday. Del Rio said these injuries typically sideline players for two to six weeks.
“It’s always a big blow to lose a good player, a key player and your quarterback,” Del Rio said. “The good news is he’s not gone for the year. We’ll get him back. It could be as short as two weeks, it could be longer. We’ll see. We’ll deal with that as it goes.”
Former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and the Panthers’ Cam Newton each had similar injuries in 2014 and missed only one game each.
This is the second significant injury Carr has suffered in less than 10 months. He broke his leg in the second-to-last game of the regular season in 2016 with the Raiders holding a 12-3 record. Oakland lost the regular-season finale with Matt McGloin starting at quarterback to miss out on winning the division and then was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs with Connor Cook starting.
The Raiders hope they are better equipped to handle the absence this year with E.J. Manuel at quarterback. Manuel, a first-round pick in Buffalo in 2013, showed some encouraging signs when he relieved Carr after the injury.
Manuel completed 11 of 17 passes for 106 yards. He led a 73-yard drive for a field goal that ended when Jared Cook couldn’t catch a well-thrown ball in the end zone. He then moved the Raiders across midfield while seeking a late, go-ahead touchdown before throwing a game-sealing interception on a deep shot to Amari Cooper with 1:46 to play.
“I don’t feel like the moment was too big for him,” Del Rio said. “I felt like he was accurate, made good decisions with the exception of putting that one up late. ... I liked the demeanor he played with. I like the certainty he played with and I liked his accuracy.”
Manuel started just three games the past two seasons for the Bills and will be seeking his first win as a starter on Sunday against Baltimore since beating Miami 29-10 on Sept. 14, 2014.
The Raiders will have plenty of issues to fix on offense after being held to 10 or fewer points in consecutive games for the first time since 2009, when it happened three in a row with JaMarcus Russell at quarterback.
General manager Reggie McKenzie has stressed building the offense from the line out during his tenure in Oakland and the Raiders are paying a league-high $42.4 million to the line, more than one-quarter of this year’s salary cap.
But the Raiders haven’t been getting a good enough return on that investment so far with the team having allowed nine sacks — half of last season’s 16-game total — and being unable to get anything going in the running game the past two weeks.
After gaining just 32 yards on 13 carries in a 27-10 loss at Washington two weeks ago, the Raiders were even worse against Denver with 24 yards on 15 carries. The 56 yards rushing in two weeks are the lowest for the team since 1995 and this marks just the second time in franchise history that the Raiders were held under 35 yards rushing in consecutive games.
With the running game grounded, the Raiders have been unable to generate any rhythm on offense or sustain drives. Their only TDs the past two weeks came thanks to a 64-yard pass to Johnny Holton against Denver and an 18-yard drive following a turnover in Washington.
Oakland has been held to fewer than 10 yards on 17 of 25 plays the past two weeks, thanks in part to the inability to convert on third downs. The Raiders are just 2 for 23 on third downs in the two losses.
“For two weeks now, we’ve stubbed our toe, maybe more than just a toe,” Del Rio said. “We struggled. It’s really obvious to everybody who follows us and it’s obvious to me. We’ll handle it right.”
NOTES: Del Rio said he is hopeful WR Michael Crabtree can return this week from a chest injury but won’t know more until he knows whether Crabtree can tolerate practice. ... Del Rio had no update on the status of CB David Amerson, who left Sunday’s game with a concussion. ... CB Gareon Conley (shin) will likely be limited in practice Wednesday but will get a good workload in Thursday to determine whether he can return after missing one game.