Derek Carr questionable, which means Jack Del Rio is one of two things


Derek Carr questionable, which means Jack Del Rio is one of two things

Derek Carr is listed as questionable for Sunday’s Raiders game against Baltimore, which means that Jack Del Rio is listed as either disingenuous or nuts.

Carr has a transverse process fracture in his back incurred last week in Denver, but has practiced each of the last two days. But being listed as “questionable” seems insane even to those hundreds of millions of us without medical licenses. Indeed, most people outside the Raiders’ circle of trust (which is any Raider employee not being paid at least six figures and spends a lot of time around the players) guess that the most optimistic estimate guess for his return is next Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Now Del Rio might be having sport with us by listing him as even having a minimal chance to play against Baltimore. The injury list is always gamesmanship coated in contempt anyway, and almost no coach ever considers it as anything more than a tedious chore and even a despicable form of obedience to the league office.

But if Carr can play with a broken back even next week, that seems excessively risky business for the team’s most important player. Maybe back fractures aren’t all they’re cracked up to be (and yes, I am ashamed).

Or more likely, Carr will be held out until the Thursday night game against Kansas City October 19. It would meet the two-week criteria and put him in a vital game against arguably the best team in the AFC West.

But even then might be too soon, because one can never know how bad a back is until it is no longer back, and football is not just bad for brains but for vertebrae as well. In other words, the risk/reward scale slides more favorably the longer Carr is allowed to heal.

Presumably the doctors know this. Presumably the doctors have told the Raiders. Presumably the Raiders will impose upon Carr the need for caution rather than bravado. Presumably using him Sunday is such a spectacularly bad idea that it has never been considered and that even next week is too soon.

But you know what they say when one presumes. It makes a pres out of u and me.

Sorry again. I am doubly ashamed.  

Raiders put Amari Cooper in position to break out vs Chiefs


Raiders put Amari Cooper in position to break out vs Chiefs

Raiders receiver Amari Cooper has been creating steady separation for a few weeks now. That didn’t break him out of a prolonged slump.

Coaches were impressed by Cooper’s route running in a Week 5 loss to Baltimore. It only earned two targets and an eight-yard catch. They tried to find No. 89 more often in a Week 6 loss to the L.A. Chargers, though six targets generated five short catches for 28 yards.

Low production stretched through a four-game losing streak, with nine catches for 51 yards. Including stats from to early wins, Coopers season stats (18 catches, 146 yards and a touchdown) were worse than nearly 200 others.

Even that astonishment didn’t make Cooper demand the gosh darn football, please. The low-key Cooper attitude: The ball will find me.

It finally did in Thursday night’s 31-30 victory over Kansas City. Several times in fact.

Cooper had 11 catches for 210 yards and two touchdowns. He was targeted 19 times. Nineteen. That’s no coincidence.

They moved him around, including significant snaps in the slot. He was targeted 11 times from that position, per analytics site Pro Football Focus, and produced six catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.

They schemed opportunities and quarterback Derek Carr used them to create big plays early.

Carr’s first pass went 12-yards to Cooper. His third was a 38-yard touchdown strike. His seventh was an in-stride delivery that Cooper took across and then up the field for a 45-yard score.

Just like that, Cooper was off and running for the first time this year.

“We put him in positions to make plays, obviously,” Carr said. “We knew that there were certain things that we liked. Nothing changed in his demeanor or his mentality or the way he worked or anything like that. We just stayed the course. We know what we have here and we know that if we just stay the course and work and grind through the tough times.

“…For ‘Coop’ to just continue to grind and get on the other side of it, I just felt good for him. You guys know Amari. I think we all felt good for him.”

Cooper said the early explosive touches provided confidence. Ability produced a signature performance. The Alabama product is excellent extending production with his legs, and had 78 of his yards come after the catch. That’s an average of 7.1 yards after the catch per reception, per PFF.

His second touchdown reached him 15 yards downfield, and he hit the jets and reached the end zone. He turned a short catch into 15 crucial yards to start the game-winning two-minute drill, and later high pointed a 39-yard receptions.

“The way he finished after the catch was really special,” Carr said. “Obviously, we all know he can go up and get a ball and all those things. That second touchdown where he cam across, the burst that he had, that’s freakish. Not a lot of guys have that. To turn the jets on like that and just out run the angles of the defense, that was really special. I think just after the catch he just played with some dog in him, which we know he has. We were able to get him the ball and let him shine and do what he does.”

Cooper’s showcase was vital to a huge victory that kept his team in the hunt. It also ended a rough month where Cooper and the Raiders both struggled. Veteran running mate Michael Crabtree was never concerned with the downturn and told the young receiver to stay the course during tough times.

“(I told him), ‘Just be you,’” Crabtree said. “It’s just about everything coming together. Coop’s a fighter, man. Coop has got skills. I don’t worry about Coop and I’m sure he doesn’t worry about me. That’s why we are so good together.”

Reports: Peters to speak on Marshawn’s behalf during appeal hearing


Reports: Peters to speak on Marshawn’s behalf during appeal hearing

First it was Marshawn Lynch coming to the defense of Marcus Peters. Now, it appears the Oakland native is returning the favor. 

The Chiefs cornerback will be speaking on behalf of Lynch during the Raiders' running back's appeal of his one-game suspension, according to multiple national reports. The appeal will take place on Monday.

Lynch was ejected in the second quarter of the Raiders' 31-30 victory over the Chiefs on Thursday night. After the Chiefs and Raiders saw themselves in a heated exchange from a controversial late hit by Peters on Derek Carr, Lynch ran off the sidelines and came to the defense of his close friend Peters with multiple Raiders going after the young defensive back. 

But in doing so, Lynch put his hands on an official and was immediately ejected from the game. He was then handed his one-game suspension on Friday.

“They can say what they want to say, but one thing’s for certain: Family do come first," Peters said to Logan Murdock of The Mercury News on Thursday.

FOX Sports was first to report the news.