In the 27-26 win over the Detroit Lions on Friday, the Oakland Raiders got a closer look at what the future might hold for them with rookie quarterback Derek Carr under center. Carr was afforded one series with the first team starters, but left due to injury from a hard hit from the Lions’ Larry Webster. Carr stood up pointing to his ribs and Raider Nation immediately started to think the worst. Head coach Dennis Allen stated that Carr’s x-rays came back negative for a rib injury, but that the rookie did sustain a concussion and will now need to adhere to the NFL’s concussion protocol before he can return to the field.
Before Carr left the game, he went 9 for 16 for a total of 109 yards with one touchdown. Up until that point, he was showing improvement from the first preseason game to the match up against the Lions and it was very obvious to Raider Nation that the team as a whole felt much different with Carr at the helm. The team seemed really comfortable with Carr and even seemed to be working harder for him. It was apparent that the whole team really believes in him. Allen talked about Carr’s playing time and said, “I did see a lot of improvement. I saw some improvement in his accuracy, I saw some improvement in his reads, I saw some improvement on his touch passes. I think that’s a positive sign. There’s still obviously a lot of room for improvement and room for growth, but I did see him take a step forward from his first preseason game.”
I’m sure that this will dismay a lot of Raider Nation, but Carr is not expected to get more time with the first team starters in Green Bay Friday where the Raiders will be taking on the Packers. “Our game play, probably, going in is to get some significant work for the ones, because when you get into that fourth preseason game, they’re probably not going to get as much work. I think we’ll see a lot of Matt Schaub in this game,” said Allen.
The veteran had a somewhat inconsistent game against the Lions, but should be getting the bulk of the reps as the Raiders prepare him for the season opener against the New York Jets. Schaub’s first drive held a lot of promise until he threw a deflected interception and then was only able to keep the ball for three plays before Raider Nation got a look at Marquette King punting on the Raiders’ subsequent two possessions. Schaub quickly bounced back to lead a scoring drive for the Raiders, but in the seven drives he’s had during this preseason, he has only led the Raiders to a touchdown once and has yet to complete a pass of more than ten yards downfield.
Most of Raider Nation will actually agree on something when it comes to the rookie Carr and the general consensus is that it would be more beneficial for him to sit the 2014 season out and learn behind Schaub and McGloin. To allow him more time to adapt to the pace of the NFL game and to be able to get a look at the NFL defenses and get to see how a veteran quarterback handles things on the field. The concern here is the disparity seen between the progress that Carr is making and the underwhelming performance that Schaub has presented so far. It definitely makes one wonder just how soon Carr will be starting especially if Schaub continues to have these games that are up and down.