Dolphins appear destined to meet QB Derek Carr in Week 16

The Miami Dolphins have had plenty of success this season against backup quarterbacks. The blowout win in San Francisco provided Miami with plenty of defensive highlights, plus strong showings from Miami’s defense against backup quarterbacks in New York (Joe Flacco, 24-0 Dolphins win) and Brandon Allen/Ryan Finley, 19-7 Dolphins win) were all successful forays into battling backup signal callers for the Dolphins.

And, for a while, it appeared as though the Dolphins may be ready to clash with yet another backup in Week 16 after a groin injury pushed Derek Carr from the lineup the previous week for the Las Vegas Raiders. That groin injury was tabbed as a potential two-week injury — but because the Raiders were playing on Thursday Night Football, Carr had an additional three days to rest and heal in hopes of being ready to clash against the Dolphins.

It apparently worked. Carr was a full participant in the late-week practices and Las Vegas did not include him on their final injury report for Week 16; which means he is expected to start this Saturday’s game against the Dolphins.

If Carr is hurt but not injured and still playing in this game, it may actually play to Miami’s benefit. Backup quarterback Marcus Mariota looked quite dynamic for the Raiders in Week 15, whereas Carr is not the same caliber of athlete to begin with and he has his limitations as a passer. You can be sure that the Dolphins will be looking to copy certain parts of the defensive game plan that the New England Patriots implemented against Carr earlier this season — the Patriots limited Carr’s offense to 20 points and generally speaking kept the Raiders in check.

Continuing the Dolphins’ turnover streak to 21 games will be a challenge this weekend with Carr at the helm if the team’s plan is to pick off the Raiders’ quarterback; the book on Carr is that he won’t force throws into coverage and takes care of the football in that regard. But with that in mind, Carr had two fumbles lost against those Patriots in the same game — so there’s big plays to be had regardless.

And if Carr isn’t 100% but still fit enough to play, will he be mobile enough to navigate the Dolphins’ pass rush? If not, seeing Carr at the helm might not be the worst thing for the Dolphins.