Quarterback Derek Carr hopes not to miss a start for the Las Vegas Raiders after leaving last week’s game with a groin injury.
Carr returned to practice on a limited basis Tuesday, five days after leaving a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers with the injury in the first quarter. He shared time with backup Marcus Mariota at practice as the Raiders (7-7) prepare for Saturday night’s game against Miami.
“I’ve been in here every day that we’re allowed to get treatment and all those kind of things, doing all my tests and all of that,” Carr said. “I want everybody watching so they know that I’m telling them exactly how I feel. We’ll see how it goes. But if it’s up to me, I’m going to do everything I can to be on that field.”
Carr has a history of playing through injuries, having missed only two starts in seven seasons in the NFL. He broke his ankle in Week 16 in 2016, missing out on his only chance to appear in the playoffs and missed only one game in 2017 after breaking a bone in his back.
Carr even played an entire season with a sports hernia in college at Fresno State in 2012 and is doing everything he can to be available for coach Jon Gruden on Saturday.
“The first thing he told me when he met me is you have to be available, and I said, ‘Yes sir.’” Carr said. “I’ve done everything in my power to make myself available this week and I’m going to continue to try my best to do that because I told him and promised him I’d do that. That’s just who I am. It may not always be perfect, but they’re going to know what I left. I gave it everything I had, that’s for sure.”
The Raiders have little to play for after losing four of five games to spoil a promising start to the season with only slim playoff hopes. They would need to beat Miami and Denver the next two weeks, hope Baltimore loses to the Giants and Cincinnati, and the Dolphins lose in Week 17 to Buffalo to get in.
The Raiders have made the playoffs just once in Carr’s seven seasons and he missed that with an injury, but he won’t let the disappointment of this season get him down.
“I believe we have the right things and the right pieces to build on and that’s why I’m always optimistic and why I feel that way,” he said. “This year I felt better than in years past. We still have a chance to finish better than we did. Right now, the chances are real slim on some of the things we want to do. That’s just the reality of it. But that’s not going to stop me.”
If Carr can’t go, Mariota will get his first start in more than 14 months. The No. 2 overall pick in 2015, Mariota lost his starting job in Tennessee and signed as a backup with the Raiders.
He struggled in training camp before beginning the season on injured reserve with a pectoral injury. He was the third-stringer when he returned before finally getting upgraded to No. 2 a few weeks ago.
He got his first action in the field last week and threw for 226 yards and a touchdown and ran for 88 yards and a score in the loss.
“That was tough on Marcus,” Gruden said. “It was tough on our team, tough on the offensive line, tough on our skill guys. You’ve seen us play, we switched gears. We went to a completely different world offensively in a lot of places, but Mariota still proves he’s a dual threat. He’s obviously very sharp, he can handle a lot of situations and if need be, he’ll be ready again.”
NOTES: S Johnathan Abram, CB Damon Arnette and LB Nicholas Morrow returned to practice on a limited basis after missing last week’s game with concussions. ... DE Clelin Ferrell (shoulder) remained out of practice and WR Hunter Renfrow was limited after being knocked out last week with a concussion. ... WR Henry Ruggs III could return to practice later this week from the COVID-19 list. ... DT Maliek Collins (hamstring) had his IR practice window opened and could play this week.
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