ALAMEDA – Quarterback Derek Carr believes that, had the Raiders made the Super Bowl, he would’ve played in that game. He said rehab is going extremely well following last week’s surgery to repair a broken fibula and, despite projections he was done for the postseason, Carr was confident in a quick comeback.
He was pushing for it right up until the Raiders lost Saturday’s playoff game to the Houston Texans.
“Everyone was telling me ‘no chance,’ ‘unlikely,’ ‘not gonna happen,’” Carr said on Sunday afternoon. “That didn’t mean anything to me, and I’d say ‘okay, thanks.’ I’d have been out there.”
Now Carr will take his foot off the gas, and continue getting better at a more reasonable pace.
He wouldn’t give an exact recovery timetable, but said “that it’s going a lot faster than what everyone thought.”
Carr said he would be back for the Raiders offseason program, which cranks up April and May.
“I’ll be ready for offseason,” Carr said on Sunday afternoon. “Now how they’ll want me to do and things like that, I don’t know. Obviously, in the offseason you always take it as slow as possible now that we don’t have a chance of playing. So we’ll take it as slow as possible, but I anticipate being fine.”
Knowledge that all will be well doesn’t make the present any easier to handle. Carr said watching the Raiders struggle from his couch has been difficult. That was certainly the case on Saturday, when the Raiders’ season ended with a 27-14 loss to the Texans in Houston.
“It wasn’t like a helpless feeling,” Carr said. “It was more like sad. I just feel for my brothers. We all put so much work together in an offseason and during the season, you just want to be out there. That’s the hardest part. You don’t get to strap it on, you don’t get to go out there and play the game with them. That is what hurt me the most is that I couldn’t be out there.”
Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave gives Carr a copy of the game plan so he can follow along during a game, which creates some time where he’s yelling at the TV.
Like most Raiders fans, Carr can’t help but play the “what if” game. What if Carr and Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn where healthy? Would the Raiders still be playing and fighting for a Super Bowl? Would they have won the division and a first-round bye? Would they have given the Patriots or Chiefs a run for the conference title?
Carr thinks about these things, too.
“Yes, because I’m human,” Carr said. “Yeah, absolutely. I said ‘what if?’ I said, ‘Why?’ a lot, in the last two weeks. But I can promise you, I’ve been the same person. It’s obviously hurt me. Some days, I’ve been rally down and sad, but it doesn’t change who I am. It just hurts, man. It just hurts because I love our team. I love our coaches. I love the fans. I love playing this game.
God blessed me with a right arm, thankfully, because I don’t know what else I’d do, to throw a football. So I love playing this game so I think that’s the part that hurts the most because I just wanted to be out there. But, we’ll be back.”