Raiders turn to McGloin after Carr injury; 'I'm ready to go'

Raiders turn to McGloin after Carr injury; 'I'm ready to go'

OAKLAND – Raiders backup quarterback Matt McGloin had taken three snaps entering Saturday. It was a failed series against Carolina after starter Derek Carr dislocated his finger.

Two runs and an incomplete pass where he go smashed as he threw. That was it this season. There’s no reason to play a backup with an MVP candidate in the starting lineup.

The Raiders need McGloin now. Carr fractured his right fibula in Saturday’s victory over Indianapolis. He will have surgery Sunday and will be out indefinitely.

McGloin will start next week’s game against the Denver Broncos, and will likely lead the Raiders into the postseason.

He wrapped up Saturday’s win. While he didn’t score, a key third-down pass to Amari Cooper iced victory and ended the surging Colts’ comeback attempt.

He’ll need to make several big plays moving forward, even if the Raiders become increasingly reliant on their hulking offensive line and productive running game.

McGloin is supremely confident in his ability to play well and win football games. He made six starts and played seven games as a rookie in 2013, and has been Carr’s backup ever since.

Now he steps into a bright spotlight, leading a 12-3 team currently one of the AFC’s top seeds.

“I’m ready to go,” McGloin said. I feel great, and it has been great working with Derek Carr the past few years and seeing what he has done on the field and trying to learn from that.

“I know this team, these guys around me, this staff and this organization will do a great job of helping me out and embracing me. We’ll just make sure we’ll continue to move in the right direction.”

McGloin prepares each week as if he’s going to start a game, and will have the benefit of a full week’s prep before facing the Broncos. Carr takes virtually every first-team practice snap, so McGloin doesn’t have a ton of experience working with the starting lineup. Those guys must build chemistry over the next few weeks to get him as ready as possible for big games ahead.

“I’m excited to see what he’s going to do,” Cooper said. “I’m just excited to go out there and be able to work whatever to help him come back and play in games.

“The biggest thing about him that sticks out is just, he’s a competitor. He wants to win. He prepares as if he wants to win.”

McGloin is good friends with Carr after working with him these past three years, and certainly felt for him after the injury. It knocked wind out of the entire Raiders roster, leaving many saying Saturday’s win felt like a loss.

The Raiders have to rebound after absorbing this haymaker and continue playing well.

“This is a great group of guys. They are focused,” McGloin said. “They are focused on winning and continuing to improve and try to do great things. These guys are going to stay focused and I think tonight was an example of that. They kept focused on the goal to win, and we went out there and stayed poised and calm. That is going to be our mindset moving forward and just go in and play as hard as we can.”

Aldon Smith back in custody after police say he violated restraining order


Aldon Smith back in custody after police say he violated restraining order

SAN FRANCISCO — Former Oakland Raiders player Aldon Smith surrendered to police Friday on charges he violated a domestic violence restraining order.

San Francisco police said the 28-year-old Smith turned himself and was booked on three misdemeanor charges of violating a court order to stay away from a domestic violence victim.

Earlier this month, Smith pleaded not guilty to domestic violence and other charges and a judge issued a protective order prohibiting him from contacting the victim.

Police said Smith violated the restraining order earlier this week.

Smith’s attorney, Joshua Bentley, did not return a voicemail message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The Raiders released the linebacker days after his arrest on the domestic violence charges.

He had been on the suspended list since late 2015 for violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse.

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.”