Carr reveals fracture in pinky; 'ripped my heart out' to watch Raiders lose

Carr reveals fracture in pinky; 'ripped my heart out' to watch Raiders lose

ALAMEDA – Derek Carr was playing hurt when he got hurt. The Raiders quarterback revealed on Tuesday that he fractured his right pinky in Week 13 against Carolina. He initially said it was a mere dislocation, but conceded there was more to it than that.

“There was a little fracture in it. There was,” Carr said during his weekly radio show on 95.7-FM. “There was a whole bunch going on with that thing, but I can bend it now. …So that’s good.”

Carr was able to play with a busted pinky. He can’t play with a broken fibula. That’s the bone he broke in Week 16 against Indianapolis, one that required surgery and tempered the Raiders’ championship hopes.

Carr recounted that rough day in Raiderville, which took their franchise quarterback out for the season. He has watched the fateful play time and again, where Colts linebacker Trent Cole whipped him around during a sack and snapped a bone near Carr’s ankle. The Fresno State product wishes he could’ve done things different. He also knows he probably wouldn’t have.

“In hindsight, as soon as he grabbed me I would’ve went down,” Carr told 95.7’s Greg Papa and Bonta Hill said. “Nothing bad happened until I tried to fight for more, but that’s who I am. That’s in me. Those types of things are going to happen. It’s as violent a sport there is out there.

“I don’t want to say I would’ve done something different, but I obviously wish I did. Being in a boot and on crutches isn’t too fun. But I’m never going to stop fighting. That’s who I am, and that’s what got me here.”

Carr was wearing a microphone during that incident, and knew it was broken right away.

“It’s a scary feeling,” Carr said. “I’ve rolled ankles and torn ligaments, but to have something break was an eerie feeling. Everything got silent, even with the buzz in a stadium. I couldn’t hear a thing. All I could focus on was, ‘this isn’t right.’”

Further tests confirmed the break, which ended his season. He had surgery the following Tuesday and has been recovering ever since. He has made private appearances at the Raiders facility, and said he texted back and forth with Matt McGloin before his start against Denver.

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave gave Carr a copy of the game plan to keep him involved, but watching a 24-6 loss to the Broncos was difficult.

“It ripped my heart out,” Carr said. “I sat there on my couch with my foot propped up, my wife sitting by me and my boys playing with monster trucks on the ground. We watched it together. It was hard for me. I had the game plan in front of me. Coach Musgrave gave me one, so I knew which plays were coming. I could see what we were going through, so I was just playing the game in my head. … It was hard because there was nothing physically I could do. I couldn’t be there for my guys. That was the toughest part, not being there with my teammates.”

Raiders retain E.J. Manuel, now have four QBs on the roster


Raiders retain E.J. Manuel, now have four QBs on the roster

The Raiders have a lot of quarterbacks under contract, certainly more than they’ll have come September.

That means the battle to be Derek Carr’s backup should be fierce. EJ Manuel had that title last year, with a shot to retain it after re-signing with the club on Thursday afternoon.

Veteran Josh Johnson signed up Monday, and those two will join third-year man Connor Cook behind Carr on the depth chart.

New head coach Jon Gruden loved Cook coming out of the draft, but the Michigan State alum failed to earn the backup job last season and must make a move up the depth chart to kickstart his career.

Manuel has a strong arm and starting experience, making him a steady and solid backup option. He completed 24-of-43 passes for 265 yards, a touchdown and an interception in two games when Carr was hurt.

Johnson might be a camp arm at this point, though he’ll be given a chance to compete this spring and summer.

Carr has been hurt for at least a small stretch in each of the last two seasons. Having Manuel in that spot might offer stability.

Gruden addressed last year’s backup quarterbacks last month at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Gruden on Manuel: “I think EJ is a young, talented guy,” Gruden said. “He’s been in the facility working out on his own every day. There is a bright upside to him, too, as a young quarterback to keep working with. He’s a free agent, but the Philadelphia Eagles proved that’s a pretty damn important position, isn’t it? Right? So we have to address that and see where we are.”

Gruden on Cook: “I am kind of surprised Connor hasn’t played in two years, other than the playoff game he got in as a rookie. After Derek got hurt last year, they turned the ball to EJ. I don’t know where Connor Cook is. I am frustrated right now that I can’t spend any time with him, but, April 9th (when the Raiders offeseason program starts) will be an exciting day for me and Connor Cook.”

Raiders sign tackle Breno Giacomini


Raiders sign tackle Breno Giacomini

The Raiders need help at right tackle, the lone vacancy along their offensive line. They signed a veteran presence on Thursday afternoon, adding 32-year old Breno Giacomini as the frontrunner to join the starting five.

He has 86 starts in 94 career games, and has been a full-time starter three of the last four years. Giacomini spent 2017 in Houston and the previous three seasons with the New York Jets.

He was a Seattle Seahawk before that, working with Raiders offensive line coach Tom Cable for three of his four years there. Cable gave Giacomini his first chance to start in the second half of 2011, and held the post through 2012.

The bond between the two is clearly strong, considering what Giacomini tweeted shortly after Cable got fired in Seattle.

Coach and player will reunite, hoping to provide steadiness on the right side of the Raiders offensive line.

He’ll compete for a starting spot with Vadal Alexander, second-year pros David Sharpe and Jylan Ware and possibly a drafted player. Giacomini should be considered the favorite unless the Raiders use an early pick on an offensive lineman.

Giacomini has plenty of starts, but his Pro Football Focus numbers aren’t pretty. The analytics says he allowed nine sacks, eight quarterback hits and 64 pressures with Houston last year. He had some decent years under Cable, and a return to that form might push him into the starting lineup for good. Time will tell on that front.