The Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs headline the beginning of Week 14 in the NFL. The primetime matchup may surely be the most watched this season, as the 10-2 Raiders battle the 9-3 Chiefs for first place in the AFC West.
The AFC West has turned into the powerhouse division in the NFL, with those two teams and the 8-4 Denver Broncos possibly all in line to reach the postseason. The Raiders travel to Arrowhead Stadium, to play in suboptimal conditions, with a potentially frozen field.
Quarterback Derek Carr will have a difficult contest to work out from, in more ways than one. With the field conditions subpar, it may take time for the receivers and lineman to create space in the open field. Thursday Night Football’s matchup could have several players slipping while making cuts and turns during their routes.
However, Carr has to also deal with another aspect that is hindering his game. The pinky injury seemingly hasn’t healed itself quite yet, as Thursday Night Football released this statement regarding Carr’s formation during the game:
— TNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) December 8, 2016
During Week 12, Carr jammed his finger after taking an incorrect snap from center Rodney Hudson. He dropped the handoff, while walking away in pain, holding his right hand. After leaving the game for a series, he returned with medical clearance and a glove on his right hand.
After a successful week of practice, Carr stated he doesn’t foresee any restrictions on his pinky moving forward.
However, with a cold atmosphere at Arrowhead Stadium, the team decided to take the safer course of action. While Carr has put his name into the MVP conversation, there still remain four games this season, including three divisional matchups.
With him working exclusively from the shotgun position, Hudson will have to be careful with his tosses to the quarterback more so with the questionable weather conditions.
The game is slated for a 5:25 P.M. PST start, with the division lead, and first place in the AFC, on the line for the Raiders.