What’s the latest on Derek Carr? The New Orleans Saints quarterback was rocked on a big hit from his former teammate Bruce Irvin during Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions, exiting the game with what was described as back and shoulder injuries, plus a concussion.
Saints coach Dennis Allen updated Carr’s status on Monday after the training staff had time to fully evaluate him. Allen said that while Carr’s shoulder checked out (he had previously suffered an AC joint sprain this season), his back issue was really more of a rib injury, and Carr will be entering concussion protocol for the second time in less than a month.
“We’ll evaluate him as we go throughout the week to see what his availability will be,” for Sunday’s game with the Carolina Panthers, Allen said.
It sounds like a long shot for Carr to recover from these injuries in time for kickoff. He’s been knocked out of three different games this season and brain injuries can’t be overlooked, especially a series of them happening so close together like this. So if Carr can’t suit up, it’ll be Jameis Winston in the starting lineup, not Taysom Hill or Jake Haener.
Allen explained: “There’s a reason (Winston is) here as our backup and if Derek is not able to go, the plan right now would be Jameis would be in there and we’d put a plan together that gives him an opportunity to have success.”
Winston has gone 6-4 as the Saints’ starting quarterback across 10 games from 2021 to 2022, and he’s one of the better-qualified backups around the league. But his limitations on Sunday in relief of Carr were clear; he threw a dangerous pass that was tipped by the defense and saved by Chris Olave, and all three of his final pass attempts fell incomplete during the Saints’ last possession. As Allen said, they had their reasons for bringing him back as Carr’s backup, but there are reasons they went looking for a new starter, too. To this point Carr hasn’t proven he was the right choice.