Last week, Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said quarterback Derek Carr will be out 2-6 weeks with a fractured transverse process in his back. Del Rio now says Carr will return precisely two weeks after suffering the injury.
Via Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Del Rio reaffirmed that he anticipates that Carr will play on Sunday, when the Raiders host the Chargers.
That’s consistent with past absences from recent quarterbacks who suffered the same injury. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who fractured a transverse process in a car accident, missed one game before returning. Former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo also missed one week after fracturing a transverse process during a game.
The Raiders started 2-0 but have lost three straight games, creating real questions about whether the team is as good as it was expected to be. It sparked a tense moment during Sunday’s post-game press conference when Del Rio was asked if his players “weren’t ready,” and it resulted in a confrontation between tackle Donald Penn and a fan.
Without Carr, the Raiders generated 245 yards of offense — 108 rushing and 137 passing. Marshawn Lynch had 43 yards on 12 carries, continuing his disappointing start (relative to past performance). EJ Manuel completed 13 of 26 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown, passing 15 rushing yards in his first start with the team.
Four days after the game against the Chargers, the Chiefs come to town for a Thursday night showdown. If the Raiders hope to contend for the division title, they’ll need to win that one.