Raiders

Del Rio reveals Carr has transverse process fracture in back, will miss time

Del Rio reveals Carr has transverse process fracture in back, will miss time

ALAMEDA – Derek Carr’s ailing back was X-rayed during Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos, shortly after he got wrenched to the ground and kneed near the injury site. That scan didn’t show anything significant.

The Raiders quarterback had an MRI Monday morning. Those images proved inconclusive. A CT scan showed something wrong.

Those images helped diagnose Carr with a transverse process fracture in his back.

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio announced Carr’s injury during his Monday afternoon press conference.

A transverse process is a protrusion of bone on each side of every vertebrae of the spine. It helps attach muscles and ligaments of the spine.

He said typical recovery is 2-6 weeks.

Other quarterbacks have been impacted by this injury. Tony Romo suffered fractures in a game and Cam Newton had them occur in a car crash. Both players missed just one game.

Even in the best-case scenario, that means backup EJ Manuel will start next week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens at least.

“Derek is a great kid. He’ll bounce back,” Del Rio said. “I told him the team will take care of business while he’s healing. When he can come back, he’ll come back.”

Del Rio said Carr had back spasms on Sunday night, but further testing revealed further damage.

“It’s something that caused the spasms,” Del Rio said. “He got several tests, and the last one came back (showing a fracture).”

Carr is the team’s unquestioned leader, its public face. Losing him for any stretch is a setback to a scuffling Raiders offense and the team as a whole.

“It’s always a big blow to lose a good player, a key player, a quarterback,” Del Rio said. “The good news is that he’s not done for the year. We’ll get him back. It could be a short as two weeks. It could be longer. We’ll see. We’ll deal with that as it goes.”

Manuel will take over as the interim starter. He played well after Carr went down late in the third quarter. He completed 11-of-17 passes for 106 yards and an interception that ended a Raiders comeback bid.

Manuel played well outside the pick, and threw a near-perfect ball that Jared Cook couldn’t corral in the end zone.

“EJ gave us a chance there at the end and did some things really well,” Del Rio said. “There are some definite positive, encouraging signs that we can build on.”

Former Raiders interim head coach, 49ers assistant Tony Sparano dies

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Former Raiders interim head coach, 49ers assistant Tony Sparano dies

Former Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano died unexpectedly on Sunday morning. He was 56.

The Minnesota Vikings announced his passing, though an exact cause of death is unknown.

He was the Vikings offensive line coach, a position he held since 2016. Sparano had been an NFL coach for nearly two decades, with stints in Oakland and San Francisco. He was also Miami's head coach from 2008-11.

He was hired to run the Raiders offensive line in 2013, and was promoted to interim head coach after Dennis Allen was fired four games into the 2014 campaign.

Sparano showed well in that role, kept the team playing hard during a difficult 3-13 season and nearly had the interim tag removed. He was a finalist for 2015 head coaching job, though Jack Del Rio ultimately got the job.

He left the organization then, and spent the 2015 season as 49ers tight ends coach. He ended up in Minnesota after that.

Sparano helped the Raiders finished 2014 with a three wins over their final six games, which started an upward trend that carried through 2016. He also remained patient with then-rookie starter Derek Carr.

Left tackle Donald Penn joined the Raiders in 2014, and experienced a career renaissance that season under Sparano.

The Silver and Black mourned Sparano's loss.

"The Raiders family was deeply saddened to learn of Tony Sparano's passing this morning," the team said in a statement. "Tony had a deep passion for football and was embraced by the Raider Nation during his time with the Silver and Black. Tony will be sadly missed by the entire NFL community. Our hearts are with (his wife) Jeanette and the Sparano family during this extremely difficult time."

The 49ers also paid respects to the longtime NFL coach.

“The 49ers organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Tony Sparano,” the 49ers said in a statement. “We share our heartfelt condolences with the Sparano family and the Minnesota Vikings.”

Sparano is survived by his wife Jeanette, their three children and four grandchildren.

Jon Gruden gets Raiders fans ready for training camp with party

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Jon Gruden gets Raiders fans ready for training camp with party

To celebrate his return to the sideline, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden threw a party for fans on Friday at Ricky's Sports Theatre and Grill in San Leandro.  

Raider Nation showed up in droves. 

In all, over 500 fans showed up, according to a Ricky's spokesperson.

"We are honored to be a part of the love story between Jon Gruden and this fan base," the spokesperson said. "It's incredibly special. And the significance of this event, at this time, is not lost on us."

The Raiders, Gruden, and Ricky's all collaborated on the event, which came together because of Gruden's relationship with Ricky's owners, Ricky and Tina Ricardo. Gruden paid for the catering and entertainment himself, according to the spokesperson. 

Plenty of Raiders alumni attended, including Cliff Branch and Lester Hayes, according to ESPN's Paul Gutierrez. Branch even took the mic and made a guarantee. 

Gruden broke in as an NFL head coach with the Raiders in 1998, and coached Oakland for four seasons. It was in Oakland where Gruden was first given the nickname "Chucky," after the murderous puppet in the Child's Play film franchise. Gruden paid tribute to those roots at Ricky's with a... creative autograph signing. 

Raiders training camp begins on July 27. Whether or not the team will be joined by its best defensive player remains to be seen. 

Star defensive end Khalil Mack skipped the team's mandatory minicamp in June in pursuit of a new contract. Gruden told fans on Friday that the team will "find a way" to bring Mack back.