The NFL was stripped of perhaps the most anticipated AFC Championship matchup last season when Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr suffered a season-ending leg injury. Head coach Jack Del Rio not only put together the Raiders’ best season since 2002, but also had them ready for a deep playoff run.
Alas, the injury to Carr forced Del Rio’s hand, as he inserted rookie quarterback Connor Cook into the limelight of AFC Wild Card weekend, as the Raiders ultimately fell to the Houston Texans. They head into an offseason that involves dilemmas not only for the front office, but also for the ownership.
Owner Mark Davis and the organization have apparently reached an impasse when it comes to the ongoing Las Vegas talks, as they attempt to find suitors and come to an agreement on where to play next season. While the off-the-field talks have taken center stage this offseason, general manager Reggie McKenzie and the front office still have player personnel to deal with.
As Carr enters a free agent market, in which all signs lead towards him resigning with the Raiders, he continues to nurse and rehab the leg injury. Offensive lineman Donald Penn sat down for an interview with NFL Total Access, stating that his Pro Bowl quarterback is progressing towards a clean bill of health:
“I texted Derek two days ago and asked how he was doing, checking in, and he said ‘I’m almost 100 percent,’” Penn said.
That unfortunate ending to Carr’s season not only blindsided the team, but also came as a shocker. Up until that game, the Raiders proudly boasted one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, as Carr was a sacked a league-low amount of times.
Penn happened to slip on the play that Carr was injured, taking blame for his injury at the conclusion of the game. The entire Oakland Coliseum went into complete silence as Carr was down on the field, while his teammates huddled around him and held a group prayer.
As fans continue to wait for Carr to formally state a timetable on his return, they have resorted to posting pictures of him working out at the gym. While spending his offseason alongside his family, the 25-year-old has been taking all the steps, seeming more motivated than ever to guide the Raiders on their return to greatness.
During the 2016 season, Carr threw for 3937 yards (with 63.8 completion percentage), with 28 touchdowns and a 61.8 QBR.