The Oakland Raiders’ dream season hasn’t yet been derailed. Not even after an injury to quarterback Derek Carr, which briefly knocked him out of Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.
Carr suffered a pinkie injury on his throwing hand, and he missed a series as the Raiders were trying to protect a 17-point lead in the third quarter. Although the Panthers overcame the deficit and took a fourth-quarter lead, Carr led a great effort in a 35-32 Raiders win — one of the more thrilling games of the NFL season.
And this has become just another chapter in a 9-2 Raiders season that has a storybook feel to it.
Carr took a third-quarter snap from Raiders center Rodney Hudson (who has had center exchange issues in the past) and instantly came away in pain. The snap was fumbled, and Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis recovered. Carr ran off the field immediately, and he was replaced by backup Matt McGloin for a series.
Carr returned to the field wearing a glove on his right hand. After a few errant throws, he straightened up and rallied the Raiders, who fell behind 32-24 early in the fourth. Carr led a 10-play, 75 yards drive in just under four minutes, and his TD strike to Clive Walford was gorgeous — topped only perhaps by the two-point conversion to Seth Roberts to tie it. Carr’s finger didn’t appear to affect him remotely on either dime of a throw.
The Raiders took the lead after several more big throws from Carr, who is winning over doubters with his MVP-caliber heroics. The thrill-a-minute Raiders can be a dicey team at times, but their talent is undeniable. And after watching their star quarterback play through an injury on his throwing hand, the toughness of Carr should not be questioned either.
After the win, Oakland coach Jack Del Rio said x-rays came back negative; Carr only jammed the finger.
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