The Las Vegas Raiders are on a roll after two impressive wins to start the 2021 NFL season. However, although the Silver and Black are trending in the right direction, injuries have taken a toll on this squad, with star quarterback Derek Carr being the latest to battle an ailment.
Carr was rolled up on during his touchdown pass to tight end Foster Moreau against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2. He was down for some time before walking off the field but returned and helped lead the team to a win with a 61-yard strike to Henry Ruggs for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Despite finishing the game against the Steelers, Carr’s status has been in doubt this week until head coach Jon Gruden set the record straight on Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s matchup with the Miami Dolphins.
“He was full today, so he’s ready to go,” Gruden said. “He’s ready to go.”
Carr talked about his mentality to battle through injuries at this point in his career on Wednesday following Gruden’s availability. The veteran quarterback provided some insight into how he processes things these days when playing through injuries.
“It’s definitely a mentality,” Carr said. “Any injury that you have, the first thing your coaches are going to ask is, ‘Are you going to be ready on Sunday?’ And your first response to that is where you set your mind. ‘Coach, I’m going to try my best.’ Or ‘I don’t know. We’ll see.” Or it’s, ‘Yes, I’m playing!’ That’s two different ways of setting your mind to know that no matter what it is, whether it’s a groin or a back, or a thumb or whatever I’ve had, ankle, all those things, a knee. The first response is, ‘Absolutely I’m playing.’ And now every decision that I make in rehab and on the field is to make sure that I’m ready to play on Sunday. Whereas if you’re up in the air, ‘I don’t know. We’ll see.’ You already lost the battle in your mind, so anything that happens now it’s a setback. That’s different mindsets. So, absolutely. Coach Gruden asked me day one, the very first thing he said to me, he said, ‘You’re not allowed to get hurt.’ He said, ‘You get hurt, I’m going back to Florida.’ I said, ‘I’ll do my best.’ So, I’ve tried my best to always be available for our team.”
Unfortunately for the Dolphins, starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has already been ruled out for the Week 3 clash with the Raiders in Las Vegas. The second-year quarterback is dealing with fractured ribs, which will keep him out this week and possibly longer.
As for Carr, the three-time Pro Bowler will be under center for Sunday’s game on his home field, which bodes well for the Raiders as he’s already making a case for this season’s NFL MVP.