Instant Replay: Raiders hold off Colts, but Carr breaks right fibula

Instant Replay: Raiders hold off Colts, but Carr breaks right fibula


OAKLAND – The Raiders beat the Indianapolis Colts 33-25 on Saturday afternoon.

That result matters far less than what happened early in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Derek Carr got hurt.

Carr was sacked by Indianapolis linebacker Trent Cole and was hit low and whipped to the ground. After the game, head coach Jack Del Rio announced Carr broke his right fibula. He will have surgery tomorrow and is out indefinitely. 

Several teammates kneeled around him while he was attended to on the ground.

He couldn’t put weight on his right leg while being helped off the field, and was carted off the field. It took the life out of a raucous home crowd and the Raiders sideline.

The Colts capitalized on that lull, and surged with a scoring run that made it a one-score game late in the fourth quarter.

Matt McGloin took over for Carr, but couldn’t get much done as the Raiders struggled after their leader went down.

McGloin made a big throw to Amari Cooper on third down that iced victory.

The Raiders clinched a playoff spot last week, and would like to win the AFC West. They’d like home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

A victory helped achieve those goals.

They dominated Indianapolis in a victory on Saturday afternoon, made closer after Carr went down.

The victory puts pressure on Kansas City. If the Chiefs lose at Denver on Sunday night, the Raiders will win their first AFC West title since 2002.

Without knowing the severity of the injury, a first-round bye would be beneficial to getting Carr back or, if that isn’t possible, to get McGloin as ready as possible for a big game.

Mighty mites: The Raiders have a pair of diminutive running backs in Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, who ate the Colts for lunch. They took turns churning out chunk yards, with big-time runs during a mid-game stretch where the Raiders established a huge lead.

Washington had 12 carries for 99 yards and his first two professional touchdowns. Richard was active as well, with six carries for 66 yards. He also had three catches for 13 yards and a touchdown

Edwards Jr. returns: Defensive lineman Mario Edwards made his season debut on Saturday afternoon, activated Friday off of injured reserve. He was primarily used on passing downs as an interior rusher, operating on a rotational basis in his first game back. The Raiders will ramp up activity in hopes of him making a significant impact in the playoffs.

Sitting it out: Right tackle Austin Howard was inactive after starting the previous nine games. He had been battling ankle issues, though he wasn’t on the injury report. Menelik Watson earned a starting spot, and rookie Vadal Alexander was his backup. He offers versatility in reserve, able to play guard and tackle.

Karl Joseph was ruled out earlier in the week with a toe injury. He has missed three straight games, though he’s getting closer to a return.

What’s next: The Raiders finish their regular season with a game at the Denver Broncos. That game will be important whether they clinch the AFC West this weekend or not. They’re still after the AFC’s No. 1 seed, armed with a tiebreaker over front-running New England.

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.